Updated: May 29, 2020
Carmen Vasquez a BOLD Justice leader from St. Bonaventure Catholic Church recorded an update on the senior's issue. This 3 minute video is available on youtube at the links below.
Here are some more details on the issue that you can share with your network members and congregations.
Issue Update and Next Steps:
About 200,000 seniors live in Florida's nursing homes and ALFs. These individuals are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
As of April 2nd, there have been 131 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Florida nursing homes and ALFs. Broward County has the highest number of cases, with 32 seniors testing positive.
Governor DeSantis and AHCA are refusing to release the names of facilities with confirmed cases. They claim the facilities have a right to privacy.
This isn't the first time AHCA has prioritized facilities' rights over the safety of seniors. Today, 32 facilities still don't have generators and we're two months away from hurricane season.
Without these generators, facilities will have to relocate seniors to other air conditioned places once they lose power. This risks further spreading and exposing seniors to COVID-19.
We have reached out to Kim Smoak from AHCA to get an update on what they're doing to protect our seniors from hurricanes AND from COVID-19. When we have more information, we'll pass it along.
Action Steps from Home: All nursing homes and ALFs are closed to visitors, including family. Residents are stuck in their rooms with limited social interaction. This is a lonely time for those in these facilities. We want to support our seniors and remind them that they're not alone so we're launching a sign campaign! Here's what you do:
Make a sign supporting our seniors. This can be as creative as you'd like but keep it small (think regular sheet of computer paper).
Take a picture of your sign (preferably with you holding it).
Email that picture to firstname.lastname@example.org
Then we'll send them by email to nursing homes and ALFs around Broward County.