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AARP says Florida leads nation in COVID-19 nursing home deaths, while staff vaccinations remain low

Credit: AARP
Credit: AARP

As COVID-19 deaths climbed to unprecedented heights in Florida last month, the situation took a sharp turn for the worse in its nursing homes, too.

With the arrival of vaccines, nursing home deaths from COVID-19 d ropped sharply. Now AARP is sounding the alarm in Florida based on data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

In the four weeks ending Aug. 22, Florida lost at least 237 nursing home residents to the virus. That's the most of any state and highest rate of deaths.

Florida is one of just three states with fewer than half its nursing home workers fully vaccinated.

AARP Florida spokeswoman Jamie Champion Mongiove points to that as a key concern.

"The Biden Administration has answered the call and said that toward the end of September they will release rules that lay out a vaccine requirement for these workers," she said. "AARP supports that, and we believe that having a vaccine requirement to get everyone on board is the right thing to do."

Florida's vaccination rate among nursing home residents themselves is also near the bottom.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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