Central Florida doctors bring COVID-19 tests to senior care facilities

Doctors from Premier Medical in the Villages are trying to give some peace of mind to some of those most at-risk for COVID-19, and they’re doing it by testing nearly everyone around them.

This week, staff from the clinic began blanket testing senior care facilities and assisted living homes for the illness. Premier’s doctors started with the Buffalo Crossings assisted living center on Tuesday and expect to be at the facility through Thursday.

"More than 150 [people]," said Lina Cohen, Premier’s Vice President of Patient Care. "We are testing all the patients in the facility along with all the employees."

Cohen said their hope is that, in the end, they can certify that the facility is in-fact Covid-19 free. Additionally, she said their staff will provide the residents and care givers with tips and CDC advice on how to keep the facility free of the illness.

Administrators at Buffalo Crossing said they were eager to sign up for the service when Premier offered, and families of their residents were especially pleased to hear their loved ones would get tested.

Staff from Premier Medical in the Villages enter the Buffalo Crossings assisted living center to test everyone in the locked down facility for Covid-19.

Cohn said Premier is really prioritizing these senior care facilities for this service as, at most of the facilities, residents have been locked down for weeks with little contact to the outside world and understandable concern about the pandemic.

"They have enough to deal with in these senior facilities everywhere, so we want them to at least have this peace of mind in saying, 'you know what, I already have this X, Y, and Z conditions, but the Covid-19 is not in my mind anymore,’” said Cohen.

Premier is offering the blanket testing services to facilities throughout Central Florida, not just in the Villages, and Cohen said they are also willing to work with other businesses interested in getting that kind of blanket testing.