Top healthcare officials in Florida said 19 elderly care facilities have either suspected or confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Wednesday, according to Politico.
Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew told Politico she could not disclose the names or locations due to patient privacy, but said it had sent experts to the affected facilities, including an epidemiologist and an infectious disease prevention specialist, as well as other officials trained on the virus.
Mayhew said she would examine how nursing homes work with hospitals regarding suspected coronavirus cases.
"I can't afford to have someone transferred from a hospital to a nursing home when obvious signs were overlooked for testing," Mayhew told Politico in an interview.
Mayhew's agency plans to establish a statewide 24/7 hotline to allow nursing homes to more efficiently report suspected cases of the virus.
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said adults ages 60 or older have the highest mortality risk if they contract the virus.