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New Jacksonville facility will care for recovering coronavirus patients only

Model to be repeated throughout Florida, AHCA secretary says

In this photo taken on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, a COVID-19 patient lies on a bed at one of the intensive care units (ICU) of the Moulay Abdellah hospital in Sale, Morocco. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)
In this photo taken on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, a COVID-19 patient lies on a bed at one of the intensive care units (ICU) of the Moulay Abdellah hospital in Sale, Morocco. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new long-term care center in Jacksonville will dedicate its facility to treating recovering coroanvirus patients in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday.

Dolphin Pointe Health Care, located along the St. John’s River, was slated to open its 120-room health care and rehabilitation center sometime in 2020, according to its website. It’s still accepting $2,000 deposits on a wait list, according to the website.

Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew and DeSantis were at the facility Friday to announce the health care center management had made the decision to dedicate its facility to COVID-19 patients.

So far, 17 people who tested positive at one point for the coronavirus have been treated at Dolphin Point, Mayhew said.

“I can’t stress how important this facility is for our state,” Mayhew said of having a COVID-19 designated facility.

The patients who stay at Dolphin Point are those who need more medical attention after leaving the hospital for coronavirus treatment or those who are coming from an assisted-living facility and have the virus.

[MORE COVERAGE: What’s in the censored Florida Medical Examiners database of COVID-19 deaths?]

DeSantis said the facility meets a need for Florida’s assisted-living centers.

“We have thousands of long-term care facilities in the state of Florida, we have some facilities that can care for COVID-19 patients but we have more that can’t,” he said. “We couldn’t tell hospitals to send patients back to those facilities not prepared to deal with COVID.”

Mayhew said the facility is accepting patients from across Florida but “this is the model we will be building around the state.”

As of Friday, more than 39,000 people in Florida have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of March, including 1,669 who have died. Out of those, more than 1,779 are residents at long-term care facilities and 1,664 are staff from those centers, according to data from the AHCA and the Florida Department of Health.

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