A second deceased resident of a Fort Lauderdale assisted living facility tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday.
Three deceased residents from Atria Willow Wood were tested this week for COVID-19. One of the results that were first reported as negative is actually positive, DeSantis and an official from the facility confirmed.
"We learned from the Department of Health last night that one of the results first reported as negative was, in fact, positive," said Yunia Gonzelez, the regional vice president of Atria Senior Living. "This means that two test results were positive, and one was negative for COVID-19."
DeSantis said law enforcement was at the facility monitoring, and he requested from the CDC that an infection control specialist also respond.
"What the investigation has found out is that construction workers, staff and cooks who were ill were not screened, they were allowed to go, work their jobs and mix with residents unimpeded," DeSantis said. "That is exactly what you are not supposed to do."
Gonzelez said as of Friday, five residents were tested positive for COVID-19 and test results are still pending for six residents.
One of the residents who died was identified earlier this week as 77-year-old Richard Curren, who lived at Atria Willow Wood with his wife. Curren's family said his wife is asymptomatic and was not tested for COVID-19.
The identity of the other deceased resident was not released.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE
In the current coronavirus pandemic, 19 homes in Florida have reported suspected or confirmed cases, DeSantis announced at a news conference earlier in the week. The homes were not identified.
"If you are an operator of one of these facilities you need to take responsibility to protect your residents," DeSantis said.
Since 2016, federal inspections have found that 20 Miami nursing homes violated infection control and prevention procedures, lapses that represented a potential for harm, though no one was actually hurt, according to data from Kaiser Health News.
The new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, for most people, but older adults and those with existing health problems can develop severe complications, including pneumonia.