The city of Tampa is taking a proactive approach to make sure nursing homes and assisted living facilities are doing everything to keep residents safe from COVID-19.
Code enforcement, police officers and Tampa Fire Rescue will visit all 83 assisted living facilities and eight nursing homes in the city.
They want facilities to be ready and to post signs that tell visitors not to go in if they’re sick, recently been out of the country or on a cruise. They’ll also ensure that workers are assessing residents for symptoms of coronavirus including fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
While the symptoms of COVID-19 are mild to moderate in most people, it can pose serious complications for the elderly and those who have medical complications.
An elderly couple from Atlanta is talking publicly about testing positive for COVID-19: They contracted the virus while onboard the Diamond Princess cruise and spent four weeks in quarantine in Japan.
Clyde and Renee Smith are in their 80s. They’ve since recovered and are home.
“We’re the type of people that they say this virus would really take out, so we’re very lucky, Renee Smith said.
“But we've remained healthy throughout even though we were tested positive,” said her husband, Clyde Smith.
He developed pneumonia, which COVID-19 can cause. He is OK. The couple says they tested negative twice before being allowed to return to the United States.
It's important to hear from people like the Smiths to understand this disease and its impact.
In Florida, there have been two deaths from COVID-19: a woman in her 70s in Lee County and a man in his 70s in Santa Rosa County.
The Florida Department of Health says of the 14 residents in our state who have tested positive for COVID-19, 12 are at least 60 years old.
The Secretary for the Agency for Health Care Administration will be in Tampa Bay on Wednesday. She plans to visit facilities to hear the regional concerns about coronavirus.
ACHA says they currently have trained workers who are checking facilities that have had a history of deficiencies to double-check that they are prepared and have everything they need to keep residents safe. If you’re a visitor, there is a screening process to ensure that no one is potentially exposed to coronavirus or any other illness.
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