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SWFL woman confident mom in good care; state expands testing at long-term care facilities

The governor announced the state will expand testing at long-term care facilities to make sure residents are safe and healthy there. And this includes nurses at these facilities.

In Charlotte County we have reported deaths of residents at assisted living facilities due to the coronavirus. And 45 people in Charlotte County long-term care facilities alone have tested positive.

We checked in with a woman who visits her mother by the window of her senior care facility in Charlotte County Monday amid the increase in cases.

Tammy Baker’s mom lives at the Village Place in Port Charlotte, where she receives care for Alzheimer’s disease.

Baker has been giving her mother all the care she can through the window for weeks now.

“I just told my brothers a couple of days ago, ‘I really hope we don’t lose my mom through all of this because she is very anxious,’” Baker said. “She doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s really hard to see her like this.”

The one thing that puts Baker at ease is the care her mom is getting at her home.

“I think they’re doing everything that they can,” Baker said. “I think the people that work there really need to be commended.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he’s increasing testing for COVID-19 at long -term care facilities for residents and nurses.

“What we’ve found in a lot of these long-term facilities is the spread is more significant amongst the staff,” DeSantis said. “It’s not that they weren’t following the protocol. In some cases, they were. It’s just somebody didn’t show symptoms.”

Strike teams through the Florida National Guard will take samples from anyone willing to get tested. That will start in Southeast Florida and grow.

We know there are 18 cases in Lee County of employees or people getting care at long-term care facilities. In collier, there are four cases that are new Monday. The Florida Department of Health is not releasing the names of the facilities.

The next big step is to send emergency support teams from the Florida Department of Health to places with positive cases.

This will hopefully Help ping give families such as Baker’s additional layers of protection.

“She’s just sad,” Baker said. “She just keeps asking me when it’s going to be over, and I said, ‘I wish I knew.’”

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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