Wilson urges DeSantis to Help Ensure Florida Nursing Homes Follow CDC Guidelines
MIAMI – Congresswoman Frederica Wilson led a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew calling on them to take steps to safeguard the well-being of Florida’s nursing home residents.
Florida, which has one of the largest senior populations in the nation, is home to 691 licensed nursing homes that house roughly 71,000 residents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, older adults are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and will be more severely affected. So far, 143 Floridians living in skilled nursing or assisted living facilities have tested positive and nursing homes across the nation, including the Life Care Center of Kirkland, Washington, have reported the spread of the virus.
Specifically, the letter asks Governor DeSantis and Secretary Mayhew to work with nursing home administrators throughout the state to ensure that facilities develop comprehensive COVID-19 response plans, as recommended by the CDC, and to announce which facilities have reported cases and how many residents have tested positive at each facility.
“We have already seen nursing homes across the country decimated by this pandemic. Our state has quickly become a hot spot for the virus and I fear that given the large number of nursing home residents in Florida, we may be primed for what could be preventable tragedies,” said Rep. Wilson. “I hope Governor DeSantis and state officials will work my colleagues in Congress and me to safeguard this extremely vulnerable population group.”
Congresswoman Wilson has taken several steps to improve nursing home emergency preparedness in Florida and across the nation, including launching a long-term care emergency response task force and holding a congressional field hearing in Miami on nursing homes’ emergency preparedness and response to disasters.
The letter was signed by Representatives Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Val B. Demings (FL-10), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Al Lawson, Jr. (FL-5), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Stephanie Murphy (FL-7), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Darren Soto (FL-9), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23).
For the full letter, click here.