Map provided by the State of Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration. As of July 20, 2020, there are Agency agreements with the 19 COVID-19 Isolation Centers shown above. To learn more, visit: https://ahca.myflorida.com/covid-19_inf.shtml.
Currently, the state of Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration has agreements with 19 facilities throughout the state to serve as COVID-19 isolation centers. Of those, two are located in Broward County: one in Lauderhill and one in Tamarac.
The Tamarac isolation center is located at the Tamarac Rehabilitation & Health Center, although as of this writing, the isolation center is not listed on the facility’s website. According to WLRN, “When a hospital discharges a COVID-positive patient, it calls one of these facilities to see if the person can recover at an isolation center before going home. A patient must test negative twice before returning to their permanent nursing home or assisted living facility.” Currently, the state notes 50 designated beds at the Center.
Residents and Families Voice Concerns
Some of the Center’s current residents are concerned. In an interview with Local 10 News, Danielle Cohen, whose grandfather lives at the facility, says “Mind blown.” She is concerned that, while the facility has spent months trying to ensure that the virus does not enter the building, they are now welcoming those who are recovering from the virus. Andrew Weisman, CEO of the Tamarac Rehabilitation Center, told Local 10 that he volunteered the center, citing its architectural layout as “perfect” for developing a “truly isolated unit.”
The Tamarac Rehabilitation Center has an overall five-star (“Much Above Average”) Medicare rating. According to the Washington Post, as cited by ProPublica, the Center has had at least one case of COVID-19 among residents or staff.
Lauderhill Officials Request More Information
In Lauderhill, questions arose in early June when Nspire Healthcare’s Lauderhill location became one of the Isolation Centers. According to WLRN, at that time there were only five COVID-19 isolation facilities in the state. Nspire Healthcare has five locations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties; their Miami Lakes location is also a COVID-19 isolation facility. As of this writing, NSpire’s website does not mention their Isolation Center designation. The state website lists 95 designated beds at the Lauderhill location.
When the Lauderhill facility’s designation as an isolation center was announced, city officials were concerned. Speaking with WLRN, Mayor Ken Thurston noted that he and other city officials had written to the Florida Department of Health requesting information as to the rationale for choosing the Lauderhill facility.
Avante Has Three Isolation Centers Across the State
Of the 19 designated facilities in Florida, Avante has the most, with three Isolation Centers: Boca Raton, Melbourne and Orlando. According to their website, “Avante has partnered with the State of Florida to open COVID dedicated facilities in order to provide a safe environment for residents to go who need skilled nursing services and are COVID 19 positive. Operating these selected facilities allows for these residents to recover from COVID 19 and help to stop community spread of the virus.” Avante has over a dozen skilled nursing facilities, and two assisted living facilities (one of which is located in Tamarac) throughout the state.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Administration, three types of facilities can request that COVID-19 patients be discharged to one of the Isolation Centers: hospitals, nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities.