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COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Bay Area senior living facilities

10Investigates is learning about dozens of new cases of COVID-19 at Tampa Bay nursing homes.

TAMPA, Fla. — We’re learning about dozens of new cases of COVID-19 at Tampa Bay nursing homes.

On April 18, Governor Ron DeSantis released a list of all facilities with positive COVID-19 cases.

That’s where the transparency stopped.

The list doesn’t include the number of people infected at each facility, so 10Investigates started gathering that info on our own. 

When we call, some of those facilities won’t tell us.

10Investigates told you about dozens of COVID-19 cases at Freedom Square Seminole earlier in April where one of the first outbreaks was reported. 

On April 18, we received a list of 55 long term care facilities across Tampa Bay which reported positive cases.

RELATED: Florida names senior care facilities with coronavirus cases

On Monday, 10Investigates discovered another outbreak at a Pinellas County facility: 13 people tested positive at the Skilled Nursing Care Center at St. Mark Village in Palm Harbor.

We talked to the facility’s CEO Doug Fresh while seven of those patients were being moved to local hospitals.

“They’re in pretty good shape. They’re very stable. The reason to transport was the numbers just grew,” Fresh told 10Investigates Jenna Bourne.

Fresh says he’s hoping for more test kits.

“I don’t know how it got in. No one will ever know how it got in. But I’m sure it was carried by someone that didn’t know they had it. Because we shut down many weeks ago.”

Teresa Krig’s mother is at St. Marks. Despite the latest numbers, Teresa says she feels confident her mother is in good hands.

RELATED: Seminole nursing home reports new coronavirus test results following evacuation

“We love St. Marks and hope that anyone who has contacted the virus recovers quickly. Our prayers are with the entire facility,” said Krig.

In Polk County, more than 35 people who live at Opis Highlands Lake Center in South Lakeland have been moved to the hospital because of a COVID-19 outbreak. The facility wouldn’t speak on camera about the outbreak, but released this statement:

“After ongoing discussions with leaders at Lakeland Regional Health, for the safety of our customers and team members, we made the decision to transfer our customers who are positive for COVID-19, suspected of being positive for COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. Our hearts go out to these customers and their families as well as everyone affected by this pandemic. It is reassuring to know that these customers are receiving the high level of care that Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center can provide during this pandemic.”

Lakeland Regional Health says 29 of those people have tested positive for the virus. The rest are waiting on their test results.

In Manatee County, we also saw spike in numbers from Saturday to Sunday. Several facilities there tell us they have “a number of cases” but they’re not releasing to those numbers.

This withholding of information makes it difficult to get an accurate idea of the situation at some of these facilities.

10Investigates is continuing to push for those numbers from each facility so we can get you the most accurate information.

10Investigates has also discovered both Opis Highlands Lake Center and St. Mark Village in Palm Harbor both had past citations for hand hygiene.

There have also been several facilities on the list released by the governor who tell 10Investigates they don't have cases and aren't sure why they were included.

Here is the full list of facilities and data we have gotten so far.

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