Nursing home testing data questions resolved
Which data set nursing homes should rely on as a benchmark for coronavirus testing has been a pressing question for Florida facilities the past several weeks as they begin using rapid testing kits provided by the federal government. Federal rules require nursing homes to conduct tests based on weekly coronavirus infection levels in the counties where they are located. “We have learned now based on conversations that we have had with the (federal) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that nursing homes can use the state data,” Mayhew said. “We will work with CMS to get written documentation that the state data can be used and that the state data will be used, that this is not an issue of, you can pick which county data you want to use, either federal or state. This will be communicated from AHCA that all nursing homes will be expected to use the state data regarding county positivity rates.”There are differences in how state and federal data is compiled, based, in part, on what types of tests are used.
Some physical contact to be allowed at long-term care facilities
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s a major milestone in Florida’s efforts to reopen long-term care facilities to visitors. Before Wednesday’s meeting edited the wording, even essential caregivers wouldn’t have been permitted physical touch. RELATED: Long-term care facilities weighing how to safely allow visitors | Panel explores allowing visitors back into Florida’s long-term care facilitiesUnder the plan, those who provide emotional and daily support, like a spouse or family member, will now be considered essential caregivers and will be allowed to see and touch their loved one in long-term care. Before Wednesday’s meeting edited the wording, even essential caregivers wouldn’t have been permitted physical touch. Mary Daniel, who sits on the governor’s task force, took a job washing dishes at a long-term care facility so she could be closer to her husband, who has Alzheimer’s.
Jacksonville couple’s story inspires governor to find solution for long-term care visitation
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville woman’s creative workaround for the pandemic visitor ban at her husband’s assisted living facility landed her on the governor’s radar – and helped inspire the creation of a statewide task force to address the issue of isolation in long-term care facilities. Ron DeSantis, who has since appointed Daniel as a member of a newly announced state Task Force on the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities. RELATED: Long-term care facilities weighing how to safely allow visitors“If you look nationwide, about 50% of the corona related fatalities have been in that tiny population of long-term care residents,” DeSantis said in a one-on-one interview with News4Jax (watch the full interview below). But the task force will be exploring options to allow limited visitation at long-term care facilities. He said he looks forward to other ideas from the task force.
Panel explores allowing visitors back into Florida’s long-term care facilities
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Families of Florida residents in long-term care facilities who have been unable to visit their loved ones for nearly five months might finally get a reprieve. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday during a roundtable discussion in Jacksonville that he’s launching a task force to examine safe ways to reopen LTC facilities for limited visitation. DeSantis banned visitors at nursing homes and other LTC facilities in mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic first made its way to Florida. Numbers released Tuesday by the Florida Department of Health highlight the need to continue protections for older Floridians in long-term care. Out of 196,058 total staff members at long-term care facilities around the state, 5,879 have currently tested positive for COVID-19.
Florida releases tally of COVID-19 cases at long-term care facilities
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the first time, the state of Florida on Monday released data on the number of known cases of COVID-19 there are at each long-term care facility. RELATED: State list of long-term care facilities with infections inaccurateStatewide, there are a total of 2,298 cases in nearly 400 of these facilities. Ron DeSantis explained the decision to release additional details about long-term care facilities at a news conference Monday in Tampa. RELATED: Florida releases list of long-term care facilities with infections“I think that that’s a legitimate concern because I know how irresponsible some people can be,” the governor said. “So, the Division of Emergency Management has sent almost 7 million masks just to long-term care facilities, almost 1 million gloves, more than half a million face shields and 160,000 gowns — that is a huge amount of supplies.
Florida’s list of senior facilities with COVID-19 is incomplete and inaccurate
She said some facilities listed claim to have no cases of COVID-19, and some facilities with cases aren’t listed. RELATED: Northeast Florida has 22 elder-care facilities with COVID-19 cases“As far as the errors in data, it’s very distressing,” she said. When the list was released on Saturday, health department data showed a total of five cases of COVID-19 at the county’s long-term care facilities. Besides inaccuracies, the list released by the Department of Health and Agency for Health Care Administration is also incomplete. Clay County, for instance, has 115 COVID-19 cases among residents or staff in long-term care facilities, according to the state data.
Clay among Florida’s top counties for COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities
ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Clay County holds the fifth highest number of coronavirus cases in long-term care facilities in Florida, and the state has begun identifying facilities with positive tests among staff and residents. Of the 249 confirmed cases in Clay County, nearly half (115) are related to long-term care facilities. RELATED: 22 long-term care facilities in Northeast Florida have positive COVID-19 testsStatewide, one in 10 of Florida’s deaths have been linked to long-term care facilities, according to the latest data released by the health department. Over the weekend, the White House Coronavirus Task Force stated that long-term care facilities are now required to inform patients and their families about confirmed COVID-19 cases. It’s unclear why the county has seen cases rise in long-term care facilities.