"The List" Contains Contract Tracing Information
We have heard from many communities that they do not understand why the name of their community is listed on the Department of Health list.
This week, the Surgeon General provided the following information:
- What are the criteria for inclusion? This involves individuals, staff members, residents, and anyone who has been "contact traced" or entered your building and then tested from March 2 forward.
- Is there a timeline which in terms of when cases may individuals may be removed? At the present time DOH is building a cumulative list. If a facility had somebody with COVID-19 in the past and the person is not positive now, because it is a cumulative list the community is still on the list.
- What happens if you think that there is a inaccuracy? In this situation contact your county health department and speak with the epidemiologist there who will be able to run to ground whether there is an inclusion that shouldn’t be. To date, FSLA has been able to work with the local county health departments to get several communities names removed from the list.
Because the list is currently cumulative, it may be difficult for a community with a previous case to be removed from the list. FSLA is working with both AHCA and DOH to find out if the list can be refined to distinguish between facilities that currently have versus previously had the virus.
Regarding inaccurate inclusion on the list, FSLA continues to press the state. I suggest that you also contact your county health department and ask them to explain why your community is on the list. For example, is your community on the list because it had a positive resident or staff member, or from a third party because of contact tracing? Please let us know if you receive any clarification from your county health department regarding why your community was placed on the list.
Yesterday, FSLA urged state regulators to further clarify what information is included in the published list of long-term care facilities affected by COVID-19.
The list is currently described as representing COVID-19 positive reports in staff or residents from long-term care facilities in Florida. However, the list also includes long-term care facilities that have been included in contact tracing investigations.
Contact tracing investigations start with a person who has a positive test result and fans out to anyone that person may have had contact with while contagious. These exposed individuals may never contract the virus; they have simply been in contact with someone who tested positive.
Unfortunately, this means some facilities have been included on the Department of Health list because of contact tracing, even though they have never had any positive test results among their staff members and residents. Some communities were surprised to find themselves included on the list without any prior notification from state regulators.
FSLA would like to encourage you to e-mail the
your state Senator and state Representative and in your own words explain how being unfairly listed is causing problems for your residents, families, staff and community in general.
Be sure to identify the specifics of your situation that explain whether the community has never had a positive resident or staff, if your community was erroneously listed, or previously had a positive resident or staff member but is all clear now.
Consider using the address of your community to look up the legislators, and be sure to indicate in your email the name and address of your community and the fact that it is located in their district.
State Surgeon General Rivkees advised that facilities that believe they are on the DOH list in error should contact their County Health Department’s Epidemiologist to discuss their case and seek a correction.
Additionally, FSLA members can search in your app store and download our RallyWise app to look up and contact your senator and representative, as it is designed to give members an exclusive venue to track bills and to communicate with Legislators year round.