Florida Coronavirus Update: News for Healthcare and Eldercare Providers, Older Adults and Their Families

Florida Coronavirus Outbreak FAQs

Where can I find the latest update on the Florida coronavirus outbreak?

To keep Florida residents and visitors safe, informed and aware about the status of the virus, The Florida Department of Health has launched a COVID-19 dashboard that will be updated twice daily. As of this writing, there are over 1,000 identified coronavirus cases in Florida.

The total cases – 1,007 – reflect a 237-person increase in just 24 hours. It’s the result in a massive ramp-up in testing across the state, Governor Ron DeSantis said on Sunday. The latest update includes 937 Florida residents diagnosed with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Seventy non-residents also tested positive, but are isolated in the state. Thirteen people have died so far.

I am concerned about my symptoms. Could it be coronavirus?

As a first step, you can use Baycare’s online screening tool (takes 3 minutes): https://baycare.clearstep.health/covid19. Of course, we always recommend you take isolating measures and contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns. To help reduce spread, first contact your provider by phone for screening and their recommendations.

You can contact the Baycare Nurse Triage Line: 1-800-BAYCARE

• Available from 6 am to midnight for questions around screening, testing and where to go if one has been exposed, is high risk or symptomatic.
• Call this number and press “1” to speak with a nurse.

Where can people get tested for coronavirus in our area?

Baycare offers drive-through coronavirus testing in West Central Florida. They are consolidating drive-through COVID-19 testing sites to one high-volume location per county effective Monday. According to a release, officials say they are reducing the number of locations in West Central Florida from seven to four. The hours will be 9 AM-noon.

BayCare is asking that anyone who wants to be tested should be referred by a physician and have current symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath) in order to best utilize its limited test supplies. Please note the screening criteria below. Test results are available in 5-7 days.

The current West Central Florida Coronavirus Testing sites are:

Hillsborough: BayCare Urgent Care (Tampa) – 3440 W. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd., Suite 100, Tampa, FL 33607

Pinellas: BayCare Urgent Care (Carillon) – 900 Carillon Parkway, Suite106, St. Petersburg, FL 33716

Pasco: BayCare Urgent Care (New Port Richey): 4821 U.S. Highway 19, New Port Richey, FL 34652

Polk: BayCare Urgent Care (Haines City) – 36245 U.S. Highway 27, Haines City, FL 33844

What are the screening criteria for coronavirus in Florida?

You can see the Clinical Guidance Florida Coronavirus Screening here. Please contact your health provider to be screened and referred for coronavirus testing if you have concerns.

I have health concerns but I am trying to isolate at home to minimize risk. Are there options to get medical care from home?

Please note that telehealth is a great option for health concerns during this time. Contact your provider to find out about telehealth options or you can use Baycare Anywhere:

BayCareAnywhere is a mobile app, accessible with a smartphone or other digital device, offering virtual visits through a smartphone, tablet or computer. Below are the steps to use it:

Step 1: Download the BayCareAnywhere app from your iPhone or Android’s app store, or go to BayCareAnywhere.org.
Step 2: Create an account.
Step 3: Choose your provider and start your virtual doctor’s visit.

Please note that elective procedures have been canceled and you should talk to your health provider if you had a procedure scheduled or will possibly be needing one in the near future. The Governor of Florida issued an executive order canceling all elective procedures throughout the state.

Additionally, home care companies such as EasyLiving can help you…with care at home, but also with connecting with telehealth options and coordinating care. Read more here about how we can help you stay safe and healthy at home.

Can I visit my loved one in the hospital or care facility?

Many hospitals and care facilities have put in strict regulations on visitors. Please contact the facility to find out about their latest visitation policy. You can read our experts’ guidance on what to do when you can’t visit your loved one in a nursing home or other care facility here. And, you can download our free Checklist of Questions to Ask When You Can’t Visit Your Loved One in a Care Facility.

For example, effective Saturday, March 21, until further notice, Baycare implemented a restricted visitation policy at all of their hospitals:

Inpatient Units – No visitors are permitted. Exceptions must be approved by the Hospital Administrator on Duty and may be made for: end-of-life situations, labor and delivery, post-partum, pediatrics and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): one visitor is allowed and may stay overnight.

Behavioral health units – A patient’s attorney of record, a state or federal representative on official duty, and end-of-life situation visitors are allowed in accordance with State of Florida Emergency Order No. 20-52.

Emergency Room – One visitor is allowed per patient in the ER. Once a patient is admitted to the hospital, the visitor must leave as visitors are not allowed in inpatient areas.

Outpatient Procedures – One visitor is allowed per patient who is having outpatient surgery or other outpatient procedure requiring sedation. The visitor must remain in the designated waiting area. If the patient is admitted as an inpatient, the visitor must leave as visitors are not allowed in inpatient areas.

Under 18 – Anyone under the age of 18 will not be considered for visitation unless they are the parent of a hospitalized child.

Presumptive positive and confirmed positive COVID-19 patients will not be able to receive visitors.

All visitors authorized to enter will continue to be screened for symptoms, exposure and recent travel. All authorized visitors are expected to adhere to proper hand sanitization. Patients may continue to use their mobile devices to communicate with family and friends during this time.

New Centralized Website for Providers for Florida Coronavirus Alerts

The Agency for Health Care Administration launched a new resource website for Agency-issued COVID-19 alerts for facilities and Medicaid providers. The new COVID-19 alert website ensures providers have all Agency guidance for the Florida coronavirus outbreak in one centralized location. The website is http://ahca.myflorida.com/covid-19_alerts.shtml.

We promise to keep you updated on Florida coronavirus news, especially as it applies to healthcare and eldercare. Our team is working around-the-clock to support our clients to stay safe and healthy, as well as to keep you informed and keep our staff safe. Please follow this blog by inputting your email address at the top of the right column and hitting “sign up”. You will be notified of our latest updates by email.

Have concerns? Want to talk to someone about how to keep your loved one safe at home or in a care facility? Are you working at home, taking care of kids and trying to care for an aging relative? Contact us today (or call 727-447-5845 or 813-333-5020) for a free consultation to discuss your concerns and find resources.

 

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