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COVID-19: Florida surgeon general urges nursing homes to screen visitors

Dr. Scott Rivkees, left, is pictured Friday with Gov. Ron DeSantis and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez. Photos: Nunez's office via Facebook

With COVID-19 present in Florida, Surgeon General Scott Rivkees is asking nursing homes and other residential facilities to review visitation policies and consider restricting visits.

He says all visitors ought to be screened for illness.

At the Club Health and Rehabilitation Center at The Villages, nursing director LaShawnda Denmark says they know that their patients are more vulnerable if they get the virus.

Staff and visitors are urged to stay away when sick, she says.

“We just want to make sure that we are encouraging them that, if you don’t feel good, you know, stay home for a day or two and don’t come,” Denmark said. “And that goes for staff and our residents’ family members.”

Denmark is focused on educating staff and others. She emphasizes correct hand washing and cough etiquette, and making sure housekeeping sanitizes the surfaces people touch.

“Everybody’s involved in this, not just nursing – housekeeping, the admissions team, unit managers, the kitchen, everybody is involved,” she said.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


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.