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Mayor Curry blames COVID-19 spike on increased nursing home testing

Florida governor ordered statewide mandatory testing of assisted living facilities

The White House COVID-19 Task Force advised governors to order mandatory testing for these facilities

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – During a video press conference Tuesday, Mayor Curry spoke to a recent spike in positive COVID-19 tests in Duval County, saying it was the result of Gov. Ron Desantis’ order for statewide testing of staff and residents at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

“I support the governor’s strategic move with public health officials, the national guard, and the department of public health to get ahead of the spread of this virus in nursing homes," Curry said. “We’ve seen in other parts of the country where they didn’t do that. It’s just been tragic.”

Data from the Agency for Health Care Administration’s Emergency Status System shows a steady increase of cases in Duval County among residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Data from the Agency for Health Care Administration's Emergency Status System

As of May 12, the agency is reporting that 18 facilities in Duval County have positive cases of COVID-19, a total of 67 infected residents and 52 infected staff.

Mayor Curry did not respond to questions about when visitors might be allowed to re-enter the care facilities but recognized the continued ban on visitations as a serious hardship on the public.

“I can’t imagine what family members are experiencing they can’t go in and see their loved ones nor the loved ones that can’t see their family members,” Curry said. “It’s heartbreaking, but this executive, this gubernatorial governor statewide order is done to protect people, specifically the most vulnerable, which are in these homes.”

The mayor also said during the press conference that the city will begin working towards phase two of reopening as soon as possible.

About the Author:

McLean is a reporter with WJXT, covering education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.