By Selene Raj
Last month, Tamarac Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center made headlines for skyrocketing Coronavirus cases after introducing a Covid-19 wing to their long-term care facility. At the time, the Florida Department of Health attributed two deaths at the facility to the virus. Now, less than a month later, that number has climbed.
As of August 24, at least 12 residents of the facility have died, surpassing over 65 other Broward long-term care facilities. This gives the facility one of the highest numbers of deaths of all 71 Broward facilities listed by the Florida Department of Health.
In late July, residents’ families were filled with anger, frustration, and confusion over the increasing number of cases that came right after the introduction of the COVID-19 wing.
One family member of a resident, Josh, spoke to Tamarac Talk sharing that he and his family had so many questions after their relative tested positive for the virus.
The isolation wing was first covered on July 20—and at the time, CEO Andrew Weisman took credit for that voluntary decision to welcome seniors from other parts of the state, who were recovering from Covid-19.
Not even a week later, cases had tripled and residents were outraged.
They were desperate for answers—if the isolation wing had truly been isolated, and if everyone had been following protocol, they wanted to know what else could possibly account for the stark increase in cases, especially given that their loved ones had been without visitors for months.
Josh’s family had been told by a nurse that “everyone” at the facility had Covid-19.
Since then, his relative has recovered, and while he is grateful that his family was spared the loss that many others felt, his feelings toward the situation remain the same as they were when he first found out.
Even then, he was clear about not blaming the healthcare workers who already had much on their plates—instead, leadership by those such as CEO Weisman was called into question.
Weisman is the CEO of NuVision—a company that owns six Florida long-term care facilities and one in New Jersey. It was featured as one of the Top 50 largest nursing home companies in the country by Provider Magazine.
According to Bloomberg News, NuVision received at least $4.8 million in federal healthcare assistance, as of June 2.
The company also received more money in forgivable government aid—in an amount that he chose not to share with the publication.
In that same article, it was confirmed that during June, despite receiving millions of dollars in federal aid, workers who contracted Covid-19 were quarantined without pay. The company was not reachable for comment about whether this was still the case.
Tamarac Talk reached out for a comment on the recent deaths but was told the only person who could give a comment was not available. Previous attempts were met once with a similar reason, and once with an official hanging up the phone after being asked about the number of cases.
Attempts to reach NuVision were also unsuccessful, but the article will be updated with comments when officials are reached.
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- Selene Raj is a writer and a Florida International University graduate. Born in Trinidad and raised in America, she completed her Master's in Mass Communications in 2020, and has been living in Coral Springs since 2004. She is passionate about the communities she lives and works in and loves reporting and sharing stories that are as complex and meaningful as the people who live in them.
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