TAMARAC, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis’ effort to keep COVID-19 patients away from long-term care facilities took a frightening turn for the families of the residents of a nursing home in Broward County.
DeSantis’ goal is to isolate patients who no longer need to be hospitalized, but are not healthy enough to return to a long-term care facility. The state is funding 25 isolation centers.
“We cannot allow a contagious patient to be sent back in,” DeSantis said during a recent public meeting.
Danielle Cohen said it appears that DeSantis’ effort is failing her grandfather. Instead of making him feel safer at his nursing home, he is now worried COVID-19 patients are too close for comfort.
An isolation center opened on Monday in the east wing of the Tamarac Rehabilitation & Health Center, a nursing home with 120 community beds and 60 rooms with two beds each.
Andrew Weisman, the chief executive officer of the Tamarac Rehabilitation & Health Center, said the 50-bed east wing is “truly isolated” from the nursing home.
There is skepticism among the relatives of the residents at the Tamarac Rehabilitation & Health Center. On Tuesday, several ambulances responded to the east wing to return at least six people to the hospital.
Before the isolation center opened, public health officials associated the deaths of two Tamarac Rehabilitation & Health Center residents with COVID-19, according to the Florida Department of Health. One of the funerals is on Wednesday.