FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Multiple residents of the Atria Willow Wood assisted living facility were taken away in ambulances Wednesday to be isolated and tested for COVID-19, and it appears the entire state is beginning to see this same problem.
It was a familiar scene at the Fort Lauderdale facility Thursday morning.
The facility has had more than a dozen residents transported in the last few days showing symptoms of the virus.
And the trend is a concerning one, as across the state of Florida, the coronavirus continues to take aim at seniors.
“We want to make sure that any elderly individual that is presenting at the hospital, is in the hospital, that fits the criteria, that they are being tested. We do not want someone in a hospital to be discharged back to a long-term care facility to later test positive for COVID-19,” Mary Mayhew, of the Agency for Healthcare Administration, said.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Florida health authorities announced they have ordered all staff working at nursing homes and assisted living facilities to wear surgical masks, and that 19 facilities across the state have confirmed or suspected cases of the virus.
Richard Curren, 77, who was living at Atria Willow Wood, died just three days after he was taken to the hospital. He tested positive for the virus.
Two other people died around the same time as Curren at the facility. Both of their tests have come back negative for COVID-19.
But with all of the people we’ve seen being taken away from the facility showing symptoms of the virus, there still appears to be some evidence that person-to-person transmission may be happening inside.