At least one death tied to coronavirus in Broward County nursing home
Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered DEM to raise the EOC Activation Level to its highest level, and the state will be hiring more epidemiologists.

At least one more is being investigated in relation to the virus.

The state has confirmed one death in a Broward County nursing home was related to the novel coronavirus, but at least one other death at that facility is still being investigated for COVID-19.

The Department of Health sent a strike team consisting of epidemiologists, infection control experts, AHCA representatives  and local health department officials late Monday to the Atria Willow Wood assisted living center in Fort Lauderdale. The nursing home houses 218 individuals, according to Surgeon General Scott Rivkees.

The Department of Health had two follow up calls from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rivkees confirmed the death of a second individual with underlying health conditions is still being investigated as a possible COVID-19 case. When asked about a third possible coronavirus-related death, Rivkees said DOH was looking into other individuals who may have been at that facility that passed away.

Health officials have expanded the scope of coronavirus testing beyond those who visited China or other hotspot areas. Elderly people who have symptoms of COVID-19 are also eligible for testing. And anyone with underlying medical conditions with symptoms is also eligible, as is anyone hospitalized with pneumonia or unknown cause.

The anticipated Broward County drive through testing site, slated to open later this week, will offer tests to people who meet that criteria. Those tests will be offered free of charge.

DeSantis also ordered PreK and K-12 schools cancel year-end testing Tuesday afternoon.

The state’s coronavirus death toll reached seven Tuesday with 216 cases in the state, including 20 nonresidents. Officials are waiting for results from 1,042 outstanding test.

Earlier Tuesday, the Governor ordered universities move online for the rest of the spring semester and bars close for the next 30 days. That news came after he confirmed four University of Florida students tested positive for the virus after traveling abroad.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


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