TALLAHASSEE — Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have been of special concern due to the number of residents who have underlying health issues, which make them more at risk should they contract the virus.
The Florida Department of Health tracks both current and cumulative COVID-19 positive cases related to long-term care facility residents and staff. The state now requires long-term care facility staff to be tested for COVID-19 every two weeks.
According to the data available as of Aug. 16, Florida had 33,886 COVID-19 positive cases in long-term care facility residents and staff, 6% of total COVID-19 positive cases.
The FDOH report on deaths of long-term facility residents lists deaths by facility to date. As of Aug. 16, the report for counties around Lake Okeechobee showed:
• Clewiston Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Clewiston, 12 resident deaths;
• Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center, LaBelle, seven resident deaths;
The FDOH COVID-19 report for long-term care facilities shows those currently positive for COVID-19 (not cumulative positives). For the counties around Lake Okeechobee, as of Aug. 17, this report showed:
• Clewiston Nursing and Rehabilitative Center, Clewiston, 13 residents currently positive; one positive resident transferred to another facility; three staff currently positive;
• Glades Health Care Facility, Pahokee, no residents currently positive; two positive residents transferred to another facility; one staff member positive;
• Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center, LaBelle, one resident currently positive; one staff member currently positive;
• Okeechobee Health Care Facility, Okeechobee, 20 residents currently positive; four positive residents transferred to other facilities; four staff currently positive.
The FDOH county reports are updated daily. These reports show the number of COVID-19 positives for those in long-term care facilities to date and combines the numbers for long-term care facility residents and staff. This includes all positive cases since reporting started in March. This report files cases by county of residence, which may not be the same county as the location of the nursing home (especially for staff). As of Aug. 16, for the counties around the lake, this report shows:
• Glades County, five cases (1% of all cases);
• Hendry County, 88 cases (5% of all cases);
• Okeechobee County, 86 cases (8% of all cases);
• Palm Beach County, 33,886 cases (6% of all cases).