PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A COVID-19 outbreak at a Pinellas County nursing home is exactly what loved ones have been worried about. For days, 8 On Your Side Investigates has been pushing the state to reveal the names of facilities with COVID-19 cases.
As of Thursday morning, there have been 14 COVID-related deaths in these facilities and many more cases.
Despite a surge in cases, Florida is still refusing to name the facilities with infections.
Barbara Namias’ mother lives at the Freedom Square Seminole Nursing Pavilion, the site of nearly 30 cases.
“This governor needs to step up to the plate,” said Namias. “He’s blocking the release of information as to what facilities have the coronavirus in it and how many patients.”
Cases are skyrocketing at long-term care faciltiites, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health.
In Pinellas, there’s 62 cases. In Manatee, there’s 46 cases. Polk and Sarasota each have 25 cases, as of Thursday morning.
“I think it’s outrageous that the nursing homes will not voluntarily disclose that information,” said Florida Sen. Gary Farmer. “They’re hiding behind those laws in not disclosing in real-time their coronavirus situations.”
While the state has released the numbers, they refuse to disclose the names of nursing homes with positive cases.
Sen. Farmer is one of the lawmakers now pushing the state and nursing homes to be more transparent.
8 On Your Side Investigates has repeatedly requested state officials to release this data.
“We’ve been working with the governor’s office,” said Senator Farmer. “They have worked with us on a number of different issues and I’m hopeful that they will rethink their position on this issue.”
If you have a tip about a nursing home, send an email to MSaeidi@WFLA.com.
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