In a stark reminder of the toll of COVID-19 on seniors and their caregivers, slightly more than half of the reported deaths of Floridians from the disease are now linked to long-term care facilities, state figures show.
Florida topped the 50 percent threshold in numbers released Saturday by the state Department of Health. A report released Sunday showed 2,451 deaths of Florida residents from COVID-19, with 1,230 involving residents or staff members of long-term care facilities.The numbers of deaths in nursing homes and assisted living facilities from COVID-19 have increased at a far faster rate in recent weeks than deaths in the broader population. On April 30, for example, the state reported 1,268 overall deaths of Florida residents, with 423 —- or 33.4 percent —- involving residents or staff members of long-term care facilities.
To put a finer point on how the disease has disproportionately affected seniors, 34.6 percent of the overall reported deaths of Florida residents have involved people 85 or older, numbers released Sunday show. Similarly, 63.8 percent involve people 75 or older, while 85 percent involve people 65 or older.
People under 55, by comparison, account for 5.8 percent of the overall deaths.State officials have taken a series of steps to try to combat the spread of the disease in long-term care facilities, including shutting off the buildings to visitors and ramping up testing. During an appearance Friday in Palm Beach County, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state’s “primary focus” in testing is staff members and residents of long-term care facilities, as it tries to curb potential outbreaks before they can spread.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.