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Hillsborough Enters Contract to Provide Post-Hospitalization Care to Senior Care Facility Residents

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update No. 116

Hillsborough County, Fla. (May 20, 2020) - Even as our community begins to take careful steps towards recovery from the COVID-19 coronavirus, Hillsborough County continues its commitment to protecting the lives of our most vulnerable residents and those who care for them.

The County has entered into an agreement with an assisted living facility to serve as a transition unit, which sets aside 60 COVID-19 transitional beds for senior care facility residents who were hospitalized with the virus, but who do not require hospitalizations. The assisted living facility, The Inn at University Village, will serve as a transitional unit between the hospital and their senior care community for these patients while they await final clearance to return to their previous residence. Patients are expected to be moved from hospitals to the facility, where they will temporarily reside in a separate wing specifically designated for COVID-19 patients, beginning this week.

The initiative is one of several being undertaken by a senior care facility rapid response task force formed last week by Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa, the Florida Department of Health-Hillsborough County, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, and four hospital systems, Tampa General Hospital, BayCare, AdventHealth, and HCA Healthcare - West Florida Division. The agencies have been carrying out respective plans to help prevent and respond to COVID-19 in senior care facilities. The task force is combining and coordinating these efforts to prevent large-scale outbreaks and avoid overwhelming hospitals that are trying to resume elective surgeries and other previously-curtailed services, including admissions of acute COVID-19 patients from senior community homes.

The majority of COVID-19 fatalities in Hillsborough County are residents who were more than 65 years old. Residents who live in a senior care facility are at high risk for severe illness related to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two senior care facilities in Hillsborough County have experienced large-scale outbreaks.

In addition to making the COVID-19 beds available for emergency placement, task force efforts include:

  • The Hillsborough County Office of Emergency Management and DOH have implemented an aggressive plan to test staff and residents at skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities across Hillsborough County.
    Hillsborough County Fire Rescue personnel are on their second round of personally visiting more than 290 senior care facilities to provide information on how to prevent and respond to an outbreak.
  • DOH teams are working closely with facilities to ensure that staff are carrying out proper infection control practices and to identify early any sign of a potential outbreak.
  • First responders from Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa are working with hospital systems to coordinate transportation of patients so as not to overwhelm any particular facility.

To protect the privacy of the patients, media will not be provided access to the property.

Get Connected. Stay Alert.
For more information on COVID-19, and any other potential emergency in the region, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL Alert system. Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for updates. For general County information, call (813) 272-5900, the County's main information line.

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