Lauderhill Officials Ask Why Florida Chose Problematic COVID-19 Isolation Center in City Limits
The state's Agency for Health Care Administration lists five facilities that are known as COVID-19 isolation centers. These treat COVID-19 positive patients who need a nursing facility level of care. After a hospitalization discharge, they need a place to recover before returning to their residence.
In South Florida, that isolation center in Lauderhill is called Nspire Healthcare, and the city's leaders say this one shouldn't have been chosen. Gov. Ron DeSantis says these centers were chosen to stop contagion of the COVID-19 disease.
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"That's something that's very, very important because allowing folks to stay in long term care facilities, if they're not appropriately isolated, you know, that will lead to spread going forward," DeSantis said.
Lauderhill Mayor Ken Thurston says in theory this is a good idea, but he says what's not a good idea, is that the state chose this Nspire Healthcare location.
"This is the one with most deaths," he said, referring to all the Nspire facilities in South Florida. "This is the one that had the most positive testings, so he says, 'well, we'll just turn it into a covert positive facility.'"
The city has asked for information about why and how this facility was chosen, and what kind of protection its employees and patients have.
"The facility, in the opinion of the relatives, has not been forthcoming with numbers of infections and deaths at the facility," Thurston added. "In the opinion of one of the commissioners in Lauderhill, it is a failed facility and therefore it should never have been the one that was allocated ... to be the COVID-positive facility."
Thurston said Lauderhill officials have written to the Florida Department of Health, requesting information about how the facility was chosen, and why.
In an email to WLRN, the president of Nspire Healthcare said it has worked closely with local health departments and state officials to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in its facilities.