News & Publications: Press Releases

FHCA Statement on Universal Face Mask Directive for Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

Tallahassee, FL - Emmett Reed, Executive Director of the Florida Health Care Association, issued the following statement in response to the Agency for Health Care Administrations March 18 directive requiring residential and long term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, to implement the use of universal facial masks immediately.

“We appreciate our state leaders for their ongoing support of our long term care centers as we remain focused on the essential task of keeping our residents safe. While the requirement that every individual inside these facilities wear a mask and those directly involved in resident care wear gloves at all times is another proactive step to mitigate the spread of the virus, the unfortunate reality is that these centers are experiencing supply shortages at a crisis level. Long term care providers are already taking extraordinary actions to conserve masks, gloves, and gowns wherever and however possible. Despite these significant and meaningful efforts, there is great concern that many nursing homes and assisted living facilities are already at the point of exhausting their supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We have been in constant communication with our state leaders related to these shortages and we need their help. This directive will work only if shipments of additional supplies are expedited to arrive at our care centers immediately.
 
While we continue working on strategies to extend our very limited remaining supplies and anxiously await additional resources from the state, we are asking everyone to provide whatever form of assistance they can at this time, including partners in other industries that may have available PPE supplies as well as members of the public. We cannot beat this virus alone, and we are calling on our state leaders, our partnering manufacturers, and members of the public right now to help us protect the well-being of our residents.”

PRESS CONTACT
Kristen Knapp, APR
850-701-3530 or kknapp@fhca.org