In Florida, 302 long-term care facilities have cases of COVID-19. However, until Saturday, April 18, the names of the affected facilities were unknown. After mounting pressure from family members and senior advocacy groups, Governor Ron DeSantis instructed Florida’s surgeon general to release the names of the affected facilities. However, the list does not include how many cases have been confirmed at each facility.
Here is a list of the long-term care facilities that have been affected by the pandemic: https://s33330.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/LTCF-List.pdf
The state had originally stated that releasing this information would be a privacy violation. Attorney Thomas Edwards Jr., who was interviewed by First Coast News Jacksonville, said the public had a right to know this information all along. Click here to watch the full interview.
“There’s a very good argument people ought to know what’s going on at these long-term facilities,” Edwards said. “Facilities are not allowed to give out certain types of private information. Indicating whether or not COVID is present in the facility does not give out HIPAA information about an individual patient.”
If you have a loved one or family member in one of these facilities, you have a right to know what’s going on. We recommend communicating with the facility to make sure that they are doing everything they can to treat and isolate patients or staff members who test positive, and that they are keeping you informed with the proper information.
“They [long term care facilities staff] are required to properly care for them by state law, and if they aren’t able to properly care for them, they’re required to find a higher level of care that they can place them in,” Edwards said. “They have to have people who are using the proper personal protective gear. All patients should be socially distanced.”
“The reality is this: residents who are in nursing homes went there because they needed a higher level of care than the families could give them, and the people that are there are supposed to be the professionals who are properly caring for them, and they are required to properly care for them by state law.”
Long-term care facilities have asked the governor to provide protection against negligence lawsuits. There has been no official word from the state as of yet.
At Edwards & Ragatz, our Jacksonville personal injury attorneys are dedicated to serving the community in any way we can. We are all in this together, and we are readily available to answer any questions you might have. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.