HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – New research that has come out this week indicates nursing homes account for more than half of the COVID-19 deaths in the United States.
Earlier this week, the White House recommended all residents and staff be tested, and Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he's increasing efforts to protect the vulnerable that are living inside long term care facilities.
As of Wednesday, there is still no mandatory testing inside long term care facilities.
Speaking at a meeting Wednesday, Gov. DeSantis encouraged employees at those facilities to go to a testing site, and to do it often.
DeSantis also touted Florida's efforts, saying the Agency for Healthcare Administration has visited 1,400 facilities, and the Department of Health has done need assessments at 3,800 facilities.
DeSantis feels allowing visits at long-term care facilities could be the medicine that isolated elderly residents need, and said he's working on a plan.
DeSantis said the measures being taken in Florida seem to be working; 50 mobile testing teams have conducted more than 32,000 tests among residents and staff.
The fatality rate per 100,000 residents at long-term care facilities is 2.0% in Florida.
In Miami-Dade County there are 73 long-term care facilities with positive cases of COVID-19, Broward County has 55 facilities and Monroe has one.
As of Wednesday, 293 residents and staff of long-term care facilities in Miami-Dade in Broward have died.