Florida coronavirus: State finally releases number of COVID-19 cases at each nursing home and ALF

Coronavirus

TAMPA (WFLA) – 8 On Your Side is getting results for Tampa Bay area families.

We pressed Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Health to release more information about nursing homes with coronavirus outbreaks.

On Monday, the state finally released the number of COVID-19 cases at each long-term care facility across Florida.

Carol Davis was 80-years-old when she died from COVID-19. Loved ones say, the nursing home never notified them about an outbreak.

They knew of only one case.

It was a similar story with another family and another coronavirus victim.

8 On Your Side spoke with Richard Elzerman’s daughter, Holly Turner, on the phone.

“You went to go say goodbye to your father on April 6, you didn’t know that he had COVID, and you didn’t know there was COVID-19 in the facility,” asked investigative reporter Mahsa Saeidi.

“No, I did not,” said Mrs. Turner.

“I certainly would have still gone but I would have taken extra precaution.”

8 On Your Side has been working to get answers for families.

We pressed state officials to name nursing homes with outbreaks and then, to release detailed information about each facility including the number of cases.

For the first time on Monday, 8 On Your Side had a chance to speak with Governor Ron DeSantis about this issue at a news conference at Tampa General Hospital.

“You’ve released a list of nursing homes with positive COVID-19 cases but experts tell us that list is not useful if we don’t know the number of cases at each facility, how widespread is this?” said investigative reporter Mahsa Saeidi.

“I’ve talked to a lot of families. They all tell me they are not getting that information from some nursing homes,” DeSantis said. “So, they’re required, all those facilities are required to inform if a staff is infected, they need to inform all staff, all residents and all families. That is required to do. So, if they’re not doing it they’re not following the regulations.”

On Monday morning, the master list of long-term care facilities with infections only included the name of the facility.

The number of cases and the number of deaths at each home was not included.

During Monday’s news conference, Governor DeSantis said he had not seen the list.

“I need to see the form that they’ve put it out in, it’s not in the reports that I’m getting in the morning yet, so, I’ll take a look at that and let you know,” said Governor DeSantis.

A short time after that exchange, the list was updated on the Florida Department of Health’s website.

Now you can find the number of residents and staff members with infections at each facility.

8 On Your Side is still waiting for the number of deaths at each facility.

We will continue to follow this story.

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