Debbie Mucarsel-Powell tests negative for COVID-19
Debbie Murcarsel-Powell says South Florida is a hotspot due to the rush to reopen.

murcarsel powell
Mucarsel-Powell had entered self-quarantine after potential exposure.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell says she has tested negative for the novel coronavirus after possible exposure at a nursing home in the Keys.

Last week, Mucarsel-Powell traveled to the Crystal Health and Rehab Center. That trip came after family members of residents expressed concern to Mucarsel-Powell that they were not notified of positive tests at that facility.

At least 16 individuals have tested positive at the center.

“Thankfully I’ve tested negative for COVID-19,” Mucarsel-Powell said.

“I am glad that my situation shined a light on the struggles so many families with loved ones at nursing homes are going through.

Mucarsel-Powell says she went inside the facility during the visit, with permission of the facility director. Mucarsel-Powell says she was wearing a mask at the time.

“I was later notified that this area was unsafe and that I was possibly exposed to COVID-19, which validates my constituents’ serious concerns with this facility,” Mucarsel-Powell said.

She announced Friday she would enter self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.

The Congresswoman argues the incident shows the need to make safety at these facilities a higher priority.

“According to the data, one-third to one-half of all coronavirus deaths nationally are nursing home residents or workers, and in Florida, nursing home residents and workers account for 42% of total COVID-related deaths,” Mucarsel-Powell added.

“I’m fighting to require nursing homes to report any instances of COVID-19 to the CDC and families within 72 hours, expand rapid-testing and contact tracing for residents and staff, enforce OSHA protections for workers and provide them with hazard pay. Sending your loved one to or working in a nursing home or a long-term care facility should not be a death sentence.”

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz and Stephanie Murphy have also self-isolated after potential exposure to the virus.

U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart was the first member of Congress to test positive for COVID-19. He has since been cleared of the virus.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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