Residents may leave Florida facilities for Thanksgiving, could bring coronavirus back

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Some of Florida’s long-term care residents are eager to get out to visit family members over the holidays, but their return runs the risk of pushing up coronavirus cases.A state executive order issued in October mandates that facilities allow residents to visit their families’ homes. Experts and advocates worry that the state has not simultaneously put in place more safety protocols.Florida nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have not reported coronavirus surges so far this fall, according to researchers.On Nov. 17, the Florida Department of Health reported that 1,358 long-term care residents and 1,769 long-term care staff had tested positive for the coronavirus. Those numbers were less than half the average daily infection rates reported in homes in July.But community numbers are rising again. The Florida Department of Health reported more than 10,000 infections statewide on Nov. 15 — the highest single-day total since July 25.Case rates in Florida’s long-term care facilities have been on a different trajectory than facilities in other states, which experienced a coronavirus surge this fall, according to a report by researcher Tamara Konetzka with the University of Chicago. Instead, Florida facilities reported a surge in the summer.“It seems to be picking up again, in terms …

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