9 total staff members test positive for COVID-19 at Freedom Square in Seminole, executive director says


PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Freedom Square of Seminole Executive Director Michael Mason tells 8 On Your Side nine total staff members have recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Mason says eight staff members at Seminole Pavilion Health Center tested positive for the virus. Four of them had been vaccinated.

Mason says one additional staff member within Freedom Square’s rehabilitation facility also tested positive for the virus.

All staff members are quarantining at home and have not been on campus since becoming symptomatic.

Mason says no residents at Seminole Pavilion Health Center tested positive for coronavirus. They’re still waiting on results from residents at Freedom Square’s rehabilitation facility who were tested.

The retirement community was one of the first senior living communities in the Tampa Bay area to deal with a deadly outbreak early in the pandemic.

Irma Mason lives in one of the independent living facilities. She says they are very much aware of these recent cases.

“We get an update every day and they’ll say how many positives there are and which building it’s in so you’re very much aware where it is,” Mason said. “It’s been somewhat stressful the last year.”

Last May, 8 On Your Side reported more than a dozen residents and a nurse at the Seminole Pavilion died. Many more people were moved to local hospitals.

At least two families sued Seminole Pavilion Rehabilitation and Nursing Services following a coronavirus outbreak at the Freedom Square Seminole Nursing Home last April. The families said their loved one’s deaths could have been avoided.

More than a year later. Mason says she’s not surprised.

“We just finished 4th of July, and people went to parties, we don’t know who or who’s not vaccinated,” Mason said. “But they’re tested as soon as they come in, and if they’re positive they’re taken out of here.”

Mason’s full statement is below:

Seminole Pavilion Health Center has had eight staff members, four of which were vaccinated, test positive for COVID-19. All of these staff members are quarantining at home and have not been on campus since becoming symptomatic and were confirmed positive with a PCR test. The facility immediately tested ALL residents and there have been no residents who have tested positive. 

There is also one additional staff member who tested positive for COVID-19 within Freedom Square’s rehabilitation facility. This staff member is also on quarantine and has not been on campus since being symptomatic. When that staff member was confirmed positive, we immediately began testing residents in the rehabilitation facility and are awaiting the results.  

We will continue monitoring and testing to ensure the safety and well-being of our entire community.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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