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Florida Long Term Care and COVID-19 Update

Written by: J. Drew Piersa, Esq.

As of May 10, 2020, 703 residents or staff members of long-term care facilities have died from coronavirus related illnesses; accounting for 41% of Florida’s COVID-19 deaths. Florida health department officials stated that 220 facilities and 23,600 residents have been tested out of Florida’s 3,800 long-term care facilities.

To combat the spread of COVID-19 in long term care facilities, the Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has issued an emergency order requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to allow the Florida Department of Health into their buildings for infection control and conducting COVID-19 testing of residents and staff. Both on-duty and off-duty staff will be required to appear for testing. AHCA has not clarified how this testing will be conducted. These orders come on the heels of AHCA’s May 5th orders stating hospitals may not discharge ANY patient to a long-term care facility without COVID-19 testing and prohibit discharge of patients who currently tests positive for COVID-19.

Updated to AHCA’s orders are being published on their website at, https://ahca.myflorida.com/ and https://ahca.myflorida.com/COVID-19_Facilities.shtml#hlth_updt  They can also be followed on Facebook.