POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – The Court at Palm Aire Senior Living facility in Pompano Beach appears to be the latest hot spot for COVID-19 in South Florida.
A spokesperson for the Palm Aire Community confirmed in a statement to CBS 4 News on Tuesday that two residents died from COVID-19 complications and five others tested positive for the virus.
"We are deeply saddened to confirm that two of our skilled nursing residents, who had previously been hospitalized on April 7, have passed away due to complications related to COVID-19," the statement reads. "Each and every resident of our community is a valued member of our Court at Palm Aire family, and our hearts go out to their families and loved ones during this difficult time."
The statement said a total of six residents were tested and five tested positive for the virus.
"Five individuals remain in the hospital under quarantine and one is in quarantine in our skilled nursing facility," the statement says. "All of these individuals are receiving the necessary medical support."
What happened at the Court at Palm Aire appears to be exactly what Governor Ron DeSantis told reporters this week he is working to avoid — outbreaks of COVID-19 at nursing homes. DeSantis is creating strike teams to do spot testing of willing residents and staff at long-term care facilities to try and get ahead of these types of situations.
"We want to expand that as widely as we can," DeSantis said. "It's very, very important that we focus resources on the people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19."
In addition to the deaths at Palm Aire, seven residents of the Atria Willow Wood nursing facility in Fort Lauderdale have died from COVID-19 over the past several weeks. A total of 21 residents at Atria Willow Wood have also tested positive for the virus. DeSantis said it's important to test staff members at nursing homes to determine if they're asymptomatic.
"You have one staff member who's not symptomatic and they can affect 10, 20 other staff members and obviously that can transfer over to the residents," DeSantis said.
Back at Palm Aire, the spokesperson said they are working with the city of Pompano Beach to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and have implemented protocols in the community.
"Our experienced professionals are working tirelessly to minimize opportunities for exposure to the virus and have been monitoring all residents and staff for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, including with regular temperature checks," the statement says.
CBS4 News reached out to the Palm Aire spokesperson with additional questions about whether residents are being isolated, if there have been other cases of COVID-19 at Palm Aire in the past few weeks and if Palm Aire knows how the virus might have been spread in the facility. We're awaiting a response.
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