Okeechobee Health Care Facility’s second round of COVID-19 tests were all negative

OKEECHOBEE — The results from the second round of COVID-19 tests at the Okeechobee Health Care Facility (OHCF) are back, and all were negative.

Sandy Perry of OHCF shared the news on May 15: “Just got word from the health department that we had all negatives from the over 400 OHCF residents and employees tested last Friday by FEMA and the National Guard!”

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) Long-term Care Facilities Report, updated May 15, still shows one OHCF resident positive and three staff members tested COVID-19 positive. Once a positive test is in the state database, it stays there. If the person recovers and subsequent tests are negative, the positive report stays in the FDOH database.

As of the May 15 update, the FDOH lists 32 COVID-19 positive test results in Okeechobee County since testing began in March, with 1,031 test results in, 997 negative and two reports inconclusive. Six people have been hospitalized. No deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported for Okeechobee County.

According to the District 19 Medical Examiner’s Office, one person who died in Okeechobee County tested positive for COVID-19. This person arrived on a train ill and was not a county resident. He is not included in the FDOH data base for Okeechobee County.

The positive cases include:
• April 1: 41-year-old male (tested in Tampa but has permanent address in Okeechobee County);
• April 2: 33-year-old female;
• April 4: 74-year-old man (non-resident, does not have permanent address in Florida, was tested in Okeechobee County);
• April 6: 61-year-old female;
• April 7: 66-year-old female;
• April 17: 76-year-old female;
• April 19: 46-year-old female;
• April 21: 62-year-old female;
• April 23: 48-year-old female;
• April 26: 52-year-old female;
• April 29: 61-year-old male;
• April 30: 27-year-old male;
• May 2: 18-year-old male;
• May 2: 52-year-old male;
• May 3: 6-year-old male;
• May 3: 87-year-old female;
• May 3: 17-year-old male;
• May 5: 33-year-old male;
• May 6: 33-year-old female;
• May 6: 44-year-old female;
• May 7: 22-year-old male;
• May 7: 28-year-old female;
• May 7: 50 year-old female.
• May 9: 34-year-old female;
• May 10: 6-year-old male
• May 13: 65-year-old female
• May 13: 15-year-old male;
• May 13: 58-year-old female;
• May 13: 18-year-old male;
• May 13: 16-year-old male;
• May 13: 16-year-old male;
• May 13: 18-year-old male.

On April 21, FDOH reported an OHCF staff member tested positive for COVID-19. On April 24, all 231 staff members and 163 residents were tested with the help of a state “strike team.” Two additional staff members and one resident tested positive. On May 8, all residents and staff members were tested again. The test results, which came back on May 15, were all negative.

At the May 14 Okeechobee County Commission meeting, Tiffany Collins of the Okeechobee County Health Department said the May 13 positive results were related to an outbreak of the virus at a juvenile detention facility.

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