Atria Willow Wood assisted living facility remains unstable, officials say

State officials say Atria Willow Wood is among 19 assisted living facilities investigated for COVID-19

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Despite a ban preventing visitors from entering nursing homes, COVID-19 made its way to Atria Willow Wood in Fort Lauderdale. The assisted living facility remained unstable on Wednesday evening, Broward County authorities said.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue paramedics have returned several times to rush residents to the hospital. Atria Willow Wood resident Richard Curren, a 77-year-old retired magician and a beloved grandfather, died of complications with COVID-19 on Sunday.

During a news conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis said two other Atria Willow Wood residents died soon after, but they tested negative for COVID-19.

“I think the fear with the one test, the death in Broward, was that it was potentially transmitted by someone who is asymptomatic,” DeSantis said.

Local 10 News has learned that 13 residents from the facility have been transported to area hospitals by Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue in the last few days.

Atria Willow Wood is among 19 assisted living facilities where there have been investigations in relation to the deadly respiratory illness, said Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew during a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

Mayhem said she couldn’t identify the other 18 facilities because of privacy concerns.

State officials are now ordering any worker in a nursing home, assisted living facility or working with the elderly to wear a surgical facial mask. Local and state authorities will be providing the masks.

“We have sent out increased reinforcement around testing,” Mayhew said.

Curren is among the seven COVID-19 patients who have died in Florida.

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