FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Atria Willow Wood, an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale, reported on Friday evening the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 18 residents tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus.
The coronavirus pandemic’s impact was first felt when Richard Curren died March 16. The 77-year-old retired travel agent and magician was the first Atria Willow Wood resident to die of the illness. Since then, five more Atria Willow Wood residents have died of COVID-19.
“Construction workers, staff and cooks who were ill were not screened,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
Atria Senior Living, the operator of the assisted living facility, denies the accusation saying the preventive screening was put in place March 4. De Santis first issued a ban on visits at long-term care facilities three days before Curren died.
According to the Florida Department of Health’s Friday evening report, there are 56 COVID-19 cases at long-term care facilities in the state. The state agency isn’t identifying the facilities.
CASES INCREASE IN BROWARD
State public health officials reported 35% of the cases at long-term care facilities in Florida are in Broward County.
There is a cluster of cases in Broward’s city of Hollywood at Lincoln Manor, Hillcrest Healthcare Rehab and Five Star Premiere Residences.
The Florida Department Veteran’s Affairs confirmed two men who live at the Alexander Niniger State Veterans Nursing Home in Pembroke Pines were diagnosed with COVID-19. The CDC has yet to confirm the cases.
CASES INCREASE IN MIAMI-DADE
Public health officials reported Friday evening the CDC confirmed nine COVID-19 cases related to long-term care in Miami-Dade. The state agency did not identify the facilities.
An employee of Miami Jewish Health in Little Haiti tested positive for COVID-19, and the operator of Sterling Aventura, an assisted living facility, reported a resident was diagnosed with COVID-19.