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Florida top health agency issues emergency rules for nursing homes

AHCA is requiring facilities to allow the Florida Department of Health to test staff members for COVID-19.

TAMPA, Fla — Too many people are dying, and action must be taken now. That’s the idea behind new emergency rules issued by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).

Every nursing home and assisted living facility in the state will now be required to allow in members of the Florida Department of Health “for the purpose of infection prevention and control, including mandated COVID-19 testing of both on-duty and off-duty staff.”

“The challenge we face is mitigating and containing the spread of this deadly virus in our long-term care facilities,” AHCA Secretary Mary Mayhew said Sunday in a news release.

According to the Florida Department of Health, 703 residents and staff at long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

10Investigates determined four of the 10 facilities with the highest numbers of death are in the Tampa Bay area.

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