COVID-19 cases continue to rise at Clay County assisted living facilities

Statewide, the number of reported cases “in residents or staff of long-term care facilities in Florida” roughly doubled in the last week.

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – The number of COVID-19 cases in assisted living facilities in Northeast Florida continues to rise.

Duval County ranks among the highest counties in the state for cases inside assisted living facilities. But three other less populated area counties also rank high: Baker, Bradford and Clay.

Three more cases were reported to the State Department of Health over the weekend in assisted living facilities in Clay County.

At the end of last week, Clay County had seven confirmed cases at assisted living facilities. Over the weekend the county ticked up to 10 cases. There’s also Baker and Bradford counties. Those counties have an abnormally high number of cases compared to their populations.

Statewide, the number of reported cases “in residents or staff of long-term care facilities in Florida” roughly doubled.

Duval County dropped from the second-highest number on Friday to the fourth highest on Monday.

As of Monday, Clay had 10 cases the 8th highest county, right above Baker and Bradford who have nine and eight cases, respectively, and have much smaller populations.

One reason Baker County remains high relative to the state is because of the multiple positives at one facility in Macclenny.

But many facilities in the area have not had a single positive case like Canterfield of Clay County where they have stopped any visitors from coming inside.

“The residents, they’re doing pretty well,” said Brenda Lee, manager at Canterfield of Clay County, an assisted living facility. “They’re pretty happy. It is difficult not having loved ones to be able to actually come in and visit with them.”

Lee said the only option to visit for families is through a window. But they are prepared.

“Is there a plan in place in the facility if there was a test positive? Yes, sir. We would have to go to a lockdown situation where we could not have anybody in or out of the building and we would have to shelter in place here with my staff that has agreed to stay here with me during that time.”

Clay, Duval, Bradford and Baker counties are the only counties in Northeast Florida with more than one positive case so far in an assisted living facility reported to the Department of Health.

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