National Guard bolsters tests at nursing homes

Florida National Guard-led teams have conducted more than 3,700 tests in 21 nursing homes as part of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 at long-term care facilities.

National Guard spokeswoman M. Caitlin Brown said 10 four-member “mobile testing teams” have conducted tests on staff members and residents at nursing homes since April 11. Brown did not know how many tests have come back negative or the percentages of tests conducted on staff members and residents.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he was dispatching the teams to areas that have been hit hardest with infections, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

As of Tuesday morning. Florida had 2,001 positive cases of COVID-19 involving residents or staff members in 313 long-term care facilities.

Numbers released by the Florida Department of Health showed that 207 long-term care residents or staff members had died from COVID-19, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the deaths from the disease statewide.