Coronavirus cases continue to mount at Seminole nursing facility

Freedom Square executive director Michael Mason announced Sunday that 39 of the facility’s residents and patients have tested positive for the virus, 56 have tested negative, and test results for 29 are still pending.

SEMINOLE — The number of positive cases of coronavirus at a Seminole nursing facility continues to rise.

Freedom Square executive director Michael Mason announced Sunday that 39 of the facility’s residents and patients have tested positive for the virus, 56 have tested negative, and test results for 29 are still pending.

“We anticipate more residents and patients to be tested over the coming days,” Mason said in a press release.

As of Sunday, 19 out of 136 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, 24 have tested negative, and 93 test results are still pending.

More employees would be tested this week, Mason said.

According to Mason, the Department of Health is now working with facility officials to slow the spread of the disease.

“The highly contagious nature of COVID-19 has proven to be an incredible challenge for healthcare facilities across the country, and we are pleased the Florida State Department of Health in Pinellas County has agreed to formally work with us to develop more aggressive mitigation strategies,” he said.

Last week, three residents of the facility’s Seminole Pavilion died as a result of coronavirus — a 74-year-old man on April 11, and two on Friday, a 66-year-old man and an 84-year-old woman.

In a previous statement, Mason said a resident first tested positive on April 9.

In response to the rapid spread of the disease, officials began evacuating all 95 patients at Seminole Pavilion by ambulances Friday afternoon to area hospitals and facilities.

Mason added that the Seminole Pavilion, along with the entire campus of Freedom Square of Seminole, is undergoing enhanced cleaning procedures.

Other facilities

Freedom Square is just one of 21 long-term care facilities in Pinellas County that have or have had patients with the coronavirus.

On Saturday, Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed the Department of Health to release the list of facilities, which include the following ones in Pinellas:

• Bay Tree Center

• Belleair Health Care Center

• Consulate Health Care of Safety Harbor

• Consulate Health Care of St. Petersburg

• Freedom Square Rehabilitation & Nursing Services

• Seminole Pavilion Rehabilitation & Nursing Services

• Heron House Of Largo

• Highland Pines Rehabilitation Center

• Inn At Lake Seminole Square

• Lakeside Oaks Care Center

• Manorcare Health Services Dunedin

• Masonic Home Of Florida

• Morton Plant Rehabilitation Center

• Palm Garden Of Clearwater

• Palm Garden Of Largo

• Pinellas Point Nursing And Rehab Center

• Regal Palms

• South Heritage Health & Rehabilitation Center

• St. Mark Assisted Living Center

• St. Mark Village

• Tierra Pines Center

Revised to remove Stratford Court Of Palm Harbor. DOH Pinellas says there are no cases at the facility. It was an error.