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Clay County gets help from state for long-term care facilities’ battle against virus

State of Emergency extended in Clay County
State of Emergency extended in Clay County

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County is getting some help from the state as it battles to get coronavirus cases at long-term care facilities under control it said on Wednesday.

The state has allotted an incident management team to Clay to help assist across the county, notably in long term or assisted living facilities.

The county has 61 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in residents or staff at long-term care facilities, but won’t say at what locations in the county that they are in. That number is the sixth-highest total in the state.

John Ward, director of emergency management for Clay County, said that would be akin to listing his home address on a report, and that residents at those facilities don’t need to have that disclosed.

“We do have positive cases in nursing home facilities,” he said. “However, we will not be mentioning the name or numbers of what's in each facility. … That is their home, and we're not going to mention the facility or the numbers at each facility.”

The addition of an incident management team will help across the county, Ward said.

Four management team members, 21 nurses and three infectious control preventionists have been assigned to Clay County during the pandemic.

“We have a state incident management team that is now in Clay County. … The staff that is working in these facilities will be here for the next 30 days as will the team be in theater here in Clay County for the next 30 days working with the surrounding counties across our region," Ward said.

Among other nuggets from Wednesday’s press conference:

• The death total in Clay remains at nine. A total of 39 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 during the pandemic, Huffman said.

• The Clay County Emergency Operations call center will not be open on Saturday and Sunday now, Ward said.

“We are seeing very low call volume on the weekends so we are going to go ahead and scale that call center back. And that’s going to change starting this weekend,” he said.

Ward said that the call center has fielded 4,727 calls. New call center hours are Monday through Friday (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The number is 877-252-9362.

LIVE at the Clay County Emergency Operations Center with the Unified Command with the latest update from Clay County. #AlertClay

Posted by Clay County, Florida Emergency Management on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

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