Hendry County nursing homes tested for coronavirus
Increased COVID-19 testing continues in South Central Florida, and more cases have shown up in Hendry County nursing homes.
On April 24, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that 50 state “strike teams” had started traveling the state to test all of the long-term care facilities. Last week, following threats of lawsuits by media, the Florida Department of Health began releasing more information about COVID-19 positive cases in nursing homes and COVID-19 related deaths.
In his May 5 press conference, Gov. DeSantis said he encourages long-term care facilities to transfer COVID-19 positive patients who have symptoms to hospitals where they can be more effectively quarantined and treated.
According to the FDOH data released as of May 5:
• Hendry County had 120 positive cases out of 851 tests for 14.1 percent positive. Of those tested, 720 were negative and one result pending. The age range for positive cases is 2 to 101. There have been two COVID-19 related deaths at Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitative Center in LaBelle, according to the FDOH report.
Oakbrook currently had nine current patients who tested positive, three patients who tested positive who have been transferred to another facility and five staff members who tested positive. Clewiston Nursing and Rehabilitative Center had five patients who are currently positive, 10 patients who tested positive and were transferred, and 14 staff members who tested positive. Zip code 33440 (Clewiston) had 90 cases; zip code 33935 (LaBelle) had 25 cases.
According to Clewiston City Manager Randy Martin, “the county’s proximity to Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties continues to adversely influence Hendry County case totals. Specifically, the GEO detention facility located in South Bay has been a contributor locally as a number of cases are linked to Hendry County residents employed at that facility.”
• Glades County had six positive cases with three hospitalizations and one death. A total of 83 have been tested with 77 negative, for 7.22 percent positive. Cases range in age from 30 to 89.
• Palm Beach County had 3,390 positive cases out of 35,059 tested for 9.7 percent positive. COVID-19 positive cases range in age from 0 to 104. Zip code 33430 (Belle Glade) has 164 cases; zip code 33493 (South Bay) has 32 cases; zip code 33476 (Pahokee) has 38 cases.
Palm Beach County has a drive-thru and walk-up testing site on the grounds of the Health Care District’s acute care, teaching hospital, Lakeside Medical Center, at 39200 Hooker Highway in Belle Glade.
According to the Palm Beach County Health Care District, residents of surrounding counties may be tested at this site, but they must make an appointment in advance.