Freedom Square nursing home reports 7th death
How did COVID-19 spread so fast in Seminole's Freedom Square?

Freedom Square Seminole
The total outbreak at the facility is at least 87.

Two more residents from the Freedom Square long-term care facility in Seminole passed away this week, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Seven people have now died from the facility where a COVID-19 outbreak has been mounting for the past two weeks.

The two latest deaths include 74-year old Donald Jack who died at Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg and 84-year old Christopher Pugh who died at the Suncoast Hospice Care Center, according to the Times, which obtained information from the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office.

Both tested positive for COVID-19 while still living at the Seminole Nursing Pavilion located on the Freedom Square campus.

A total of 54 residents and 33 employees have so far tested positive, according to memos from Freedom Square.

Jack was reportedly taken to Northside Hospital Friday with pneumonia and died Tuesday. He had underlying health conditions, in addition to advanced age, including hypertension, diabetes and lymphoma.

Pugh was transferred to Largo Medical Center on April 13 and then moved to hospice care eight days later. The medical examiner’s report noted he had respiratory distress and brain damage when he was initially transported to the hospital.

The facility has since evacuated all residents of the Seminole Nursing Pavilion and is undergoing a deep cleaning and working with the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County to implement mitigation strategies, though some residents have begun to test positive at a second nursing home facility on the campus, Freedom Square Rehabilitation Center.

Anonymous sources have reported prior failures to use adequate personal protective equipment, with some saying nurses and health care staff were often forced to reuse PPE or make homemade masks, which are not medically graded.

A County Commissioner previously told Florida Politics the facility did not communicate shortages in equipment, but resources were available had they been requested. The county has since begun reaching out to facilities directly to ascertain needs.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


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