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Governor Scott issues new rules after Hollywood nursing home deaths

Posted at 10:07 PM, Sep 18, 2017

The images last week out of Hollywood have served as a wake up call for state and local officials. 

“It's up to us to ensure that the citizens that are living in those facilities have what they need,” says West Palm Beach Police Chief Sarah Mooney. 

After eight people died last week at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, Gov. Rick Scott is taking action, issuing an emergency order that will hold nursing homes and assisted living centers accountable. 

In the next 60 days, the facilities are required to have ample resources, including generators, to sustain operations and comfortable temperatures for at least 96 hours after a power outage. 

The order is effective immediately and will last three months, after which it can be renewed.  

Failure to comply could result in $1,000 per day fine, and the state revoking a facility’s license.

The governor’s office says he plans on making those rules into law. 

Mooney said she will support the governor's action in any way she can. 

“Without having legislation behind it and laws that are enforceable by us, were going to be more of a tool to go out and check on these facilities as opposed to going out and doing any enforcement.”

West Palm Beach Commissioner Keith James says we were fortunate the situation in Hollywood didn't make its way to Palm Beach County.

He says the governor's action should make a difference. 

“It's a shame that's it's in response to something, the tragedy that occurred in Hollywood,” he says. “But it's better late than never to avert any future catastrophes.”