ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Sixty residents and staff at long-term care facilities across Pinellas County have tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus, according to the Florida Department of Health.
It is the largest coronavirus cluster within senior facilities in the Tampa Bay area; Manatee County has 45 cases, while Polk County has 25 cases. Florida Health reports, for the first time, eight people have died in Manatee, three in Polk and one in Pinellas.
Hillsborough County has 14 coronavirus cases and one death.
At least 30 patients and staff members at a Pinellas County nursing home are presumed positive for COVID-19 coronavirus, according to media reports Wednesday evening.
Many of them from the Freedom Square Seminole Nursing Pavilion were taken to three area hospitals, according to Florida Politics. The Tampa Bay Times reports a county official said the facility "was reluctant to transfer the patients to hospitals but was overwhelmed by the outbreak."
10News reached out to state and county officials but did not yet hear back.
Florida Health reports there are 1,332 coronavirus cases in residents and staff in long-term care facilities statewide. The state has been pressed to name the long-term care facilities where coronavirus cases have been reported in the interest of its residents, their families and employees.
It, instead, has cited HIPPA regulations and refused to name the facilities.
"The numbers just keep piling up. We know the number of infections but don’t know what facilities," said Brian Lee, the Executive Director for Families for Better Care.
Lee is with an advocacy group for those living in nursing home facilities. He says it’s time for the government and these facilities to be transparent.
10Investigates uncovered one corporation took the first step. Pruitt Health, a nursing home corporation that has three facilities in Florida, released the data of all of its facilities with COVID-19 cases. Lee says that step is a huge turning point.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in mid-March directed Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration to restrict all visitors, with some exceptions, to nursing homes in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
- Kids are going hungry because people are stealing meals meant for students and selling it, school superintendent says
- IRS stimulus check status tracker is now online | Here's what you need to know
- The federal government is sending stimulus checks to dead people
- Ok, you've got your mask. What are you doing to protect your eyes?
- Trains will honk Thursday to salute America's transit workers
- Report: Roy Halladay was doing stunts when plane crashed
- Hotlines, websites offer the latest on COVID-19
FREE 10NEWS APP:
►Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter