Though Florida once required all staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities to test bi-weekly for COVID-19, only entering the facilities once testing negative, the state has not renewed the testing order since it expired in mid-September. This expired order is coupled with a lifted ban on visitors for facilities that do not report any new cases for 14 days. Though there are federal guidelines that require intermittent testing at nursing home facilities, the standards are not uniform among states, and are instead determined by each county’s COVID-19 positivity rate.
A recent article in the Tampa Bay Times asserts that the decision to let this order expire can prove dangerous to those living at these facilities, as 41% of COVID-19 deaths in the state of Florida are made up of residents and employees at elder-care facilities. However, there are no current plans to renew or create a new order requiring further testing.
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