Florida releases names of nursing homes with the coronavirus

Posted at 1:51 PM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 14:25:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida released the names of 303 nursing homeswhere staff or patients have been tested positive for the coronavirus.

The seven-page list released Saturday evening names nursing homes and long-term care facilities in 45 of the state's 67 counties. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said while patient names won't be released, he thought it was important for families to know which facilities have had positive cases.

"I told the surgeon general from the beginning that we want to put as much information out as we can." DeSantis told reporters before the list was released. "It is necessary for public health to release the names of the facilities where a resident or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19."

Facilities already were required to notify all residents, staff and families once there is a positive test.

"We have no reason to think that that wasn't done, we know it was done most of the time, but at the same time if you have one incident and a week from now they don't follow through with that, I don't want to be in a situation where the families don't know," DeSantis said.

As of Saturday evening, there were 1,785 cases and 175 deaths among staff and residents in Florida's nursing homes and long-term care facilities, according to the state Department of Health. Overall, Florida has had about 26,000 cases and 764 deaths, according to numbers released Sunday.

The counties with the most facilities on the list include Miami-Dade with 54, Broward with 39 and Palm Beach with 36.

The update comes as DeSantis prepares to announce the members of a task force that will make recommendations on how to begin reopening the state.