OCOEE, Fla. — After multiple attempts by Eyewitness News to reach out, Ocoee Health Care Center sent a full-page letter to Eyewitness News, stating that the facility “is aware of some report of there being a lack of communication with the families.”
Eyewitness News has talked to multiple families who have loved ones inside the nursing home and said communication has been a problem. Over the past month, health officials have said there has been a significant COVID-19 outbreak inside the nursing home.
“It’s hard on a family when you don’t know what’s going on in there,” said Wanda Beaulac, who has family in the nursing home and is holding a protest this weekend to address it.
County officials said in late July said 66 residents have tested positive, 22 of whom have been hospitalized, and six have died. About 30 staff members had also tested positive.
The letter from Ocoee Health Care also says it “has and always will continue to provide the families with current information on their loved ones.”
The letter goes on to read: “Contrary to published reports, all family members were notified of resident COVID-19 testing results within the required time frame.”
However, all of the people we talked to said they found out about the outbreak from Eyewitness News.
Fred Griffin said he couldn’t find out if his wife tested positive or even had symptoms.
“I’m really angry, but there’s nothing I can do. That’s why I reached out to (Eyewitness News),” Griffin said.
The nursing home had all of its patients and employees tested, but the letter also reads, “While relaying these testing results, there was some miscommunication due to inaccurate test results being reported to Ocoee by the state regulatory agencies.”
Beaulac said she was originally told her mother tested negative for COVID-19.
"Then two weeks later they said that Orange County had made a mistake and that she was positive."
Read the full statement from Ocoee Health Care below:
While we respect the news service’s desire to report on the details of the impact of COVID-19 at Ocoee Healthcare Center, there have been many public reportings of misrepresented information pertaining to our facility. We feel that it is important to provide a statement to rectify these misperceptions. We are aware of some reports of there being a lack of communication with families. Ocoee has always and will continue to provide our families with current information on their loved ones through personal telephone calls to the affected resident’s designated responsible party, the facility COVID telephone line which is updated in accordance to the state and federal regulations, and virtual visits between families and their loved ones. Contrary to published reports, all family members were notified of resident COVID testing results within the required timeframe designated by our state and local officials.. Ocoee Healthcare Center took the initiative at the onset of the outbreak to have all patients and employees tested, in addition to the required state-mandated testing schedule. While relaying these testing results, there was some miscommunication due to inaccurate test results being reported to Ocoee by the state regulatory agencies. Ocoee Healthcare Center is doing everything within its power to fight this insidious virus which is not only ravaging the long term care community but the remainder of our population as well. Our facility staff members are submerged in the care and protection of our residents’ health and safety. We continue to see the number of recovered residents increasing, indicating that our approved infection control processes are effective. Our hearts go out to everyone, including all of our residents and families that have been impacted by the virus directly. We remain closely aligned with our public health officials to ensure our infection control and sanitation protocols reflect the most current guidelines. Protecting the well-being of our residents and staff remains our top priority.
© 2020 © 2020 Cox Media Group