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Nurses blindsided by coronavirus cases in long-term care facilities

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – While family members are being notified of positive coronavirus cases inside long-term care facilities, many visiting health care workers say they are not — and it’s putting them at risk.

These visiting nurses go from facility to facility to see different residents. One private case manager, who asked to not be identified, said that only after she left a facility with infection did a patient’s family member drop the bombshell.

“A family member said, ‘Oh, did you know that they had five cases?’ I said, ‘No!’”

Last week, Local 10 News encountered another visiting nurse outside a Tamarac facility that had residents who tested positive for COVID-19. She knew nothing about it.

The health care workers say it’s important information they need to make healthy and informed decisions.

“We need to have a sign on the door so that everybody knows,” the case manager said.

Had she known? “I would change clothes if I was going to another facility to expose my 90-year-old [patient],” she said.

There have been 142 cases of COVID-19 confirmed at long-term care facilities in South Florida, an increase of 54 since Friday.

Miami-Dade has 58 cases, Broward has 48 and Palm Beach County has 36.

Local 10 News reached out to Florida’s department of health to ask if there are any requirements about notifying visitors to these facilities about infected residents. They referred us to the Agency for Health Care Administration, who has not yet responded.

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