Sarasota County reports cases of COVID-19 at senior care facilities

Coronavirus

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Sarasota County is now reporting it now has confirmed cases of COVID-19 at two elder care facilities.

Chuck Henry of the Sarasota County Health Department made the announcement at a morning briefing on the status of the virus in the county.

“At the time I’m aware of two facilities where we have active cases,” said Henry.

The news is of particular concern because of deaths at other senior care facilities across the country. In Washington state, at least 35 coronavirus deaths have been linked to Life Care Center in Kirkland.

The virus there rapidly spread through the Kirkland facility before the staff realized what was going on.

According to reports, 57 percent of the patients at the nursing home caught the virus and 1 in 4 of those died.

In New Jersey, 94 people at the St. Joseph’s Senior Nursing Home in Woodbridge are presumed to have the virus.

Chuck Henry says they are doing all they can at the senior facilities here to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Anytime we hear of an illness in an elder care facility, even before a diagnosis is made, we’re sending teams out to meet with staff at those facilities,” said Henry.

The Sarasota Health Department is not identifying which facilities in the county have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“If we did identify the facilities then we could, unintentionally identify the individuals ill, so I won’t be providing the names,” said Henry, citing health privacy laws.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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