Saturday, June 15, 2024

Seminole nursing home evacuated due to COVID-19 concerns

For the third time this week, residents are being removed from the Seminole Nursing Pavilion at Freedom Square located at 10800 Temple Terrace in Seminole, Florida.

According to the facility, on April 9, a resident at the facility tested positive for COVID-19. As of Tuesday, April, 17, 2020, they reported that 21 residents and 6 employees tested positive.

The first acknowledged large evacuation of patients began on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. In the evening hours, 38 patients were removed and transported to three local hospitals for treatment and monitoring. The residents ranged from asymptomatic but potentially exposed all the way to symptomatic with a positive diagnosis.

On Thursday, April 16, 2020, an additional 18 patients were evacuated from the facility. This residents were described as symptomatic or had tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Craig Hare from Pinellas County EMS, in the morning of April 17th, the Department of Health decided to close the facility effective 3 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020.

Notification was made from Pinellas County Government to the Commissioner. This email notification stated that based upon an assessment and consensus of multiple partners, the nursing home portion of the facility will be completely evacuated. They cited that this closure will allow the facility and Department of Health to “completely reset the facilities infection control practices, decontaminate the site, provide additional training for staff, etc.”

The operation to move the remaining 39 remaining patients began today at approximately 3 p.m. The entire process is expected to be take about 9 hours.

The 39 remaining residents are being transported to multiple hospitals in the area according to Craig Hare.

Due to lack of transparency and the restriction of public records, media outlets have been unable to receive information on how widespread this issue may be at other skilled nursing facilities. It was widely known that the demographics of these patients place them as the most vulnerable to the virus. Some data suggests that 20% of Florida’s deaths involve a nursing facility. The state thus far has refused to publish the number of cases at specific nursing facilities.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, 3 of the residents of the Seminole Nursing Pavilion have died due to virus. Article available at

According to a source, not authorized to speak with the media, report that the Department Health evaluated the situation at the Seminole Nursing Pavilion. This source reports that improper PPE, lack of proper disinfectants, and training were just a few of the items that factored into this closure.

According to an unannounced complaint in February, the Department of Health and Human Services visited the facility. The report indicated the facility was in compliance with requirements for Long Term Care Facilities.

Craig Hare reports that the number of residents that were transported from the building, in total, number 120.

Undoubtedly, an evaluation will be done to determine if these type of outbreaks could have been prevented. Were the facilities able to access all the resources needed to manage this pandemic? Do these facilities have the proper means to quarantine affected patients?

On Saturday, April 18, 2020, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has directed the State Surgeon General to explore releasing the names of individual long term care facilities with positive COVID-19 cases. The Governor reports that 1627 residents and staff have been affected by the virus.

Video of Thursday evening as 18 residents were evacuated from the facility

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