Central Florida centers to get COVID-19 testing, treatment money

CORONAVIRUS ORLANDO (1)
True Health operates seven centers across Orange and Seminole counties.

The Central Florida-based True Health system of community health centers is receiving more than $1.8 million from the federal CARES Act to prevent,  test for, diagnose, and treat COVID-19, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy announced Friday.

True Health, which operates a chain of doctors’ offices and health care clinics in Seminole and Orange counties that treat both insured and uninsured patients, is receiving the federal money through provisions to support the nation’s community health centers in battling the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant includes money for testing for the coronavirus.

“This federal funding will help True Health sustain and strengthen operations as they care for patients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,”Murphy stated in a news release. “Regardless of income level or insurance coverage, community health centers are a vital resource in helping treat patients in need. I’ll keep fighting to bring home the resources Central Florida needs to ensure our community stays healthy and safe during this critical time.”

The key provision in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security Act approved last month by Congress is aimed to support the nation’s 1,400 community health centers, which operate over 10,000 delivery sites across the country and serve 1 in 13 Americans.

The Sanford-based True Health operates seven health care centers in Seminole and Orange. The group, in practice for 40 years, treats about 45,000 patients per year. An advisory on its website urges patients exhibiting the signs of COVID-19 to call for instructions, rather than appear at one of the offices.

Through Friday morning, Seminole County has reported 235 cases of COVID-19 and Orange County 895 cases, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The Central Florida region is expecting to see the worst of the coronavirus pandemic in late April or early May. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Monday that he, the chairs of other Central Florida counties, and health and hospital officials were meeting to prepare for a future when there may be a need to coordinate health care services throughout the region to address the outbreak.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]



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