Florida’s Republican governor announced on Saturday that he was reversing course and would release a list of nursing homes where residents or staff have tested positive for COVID-19.
“After weeks of refusing to release the names of elder care facilities that have had residents and staff test positive for the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Saturday that he has ordered health officials to release the names,” the Miami Herald reported. “The governor and the Florida Department of Health has been under increasing pressure from families of residents and advocates such as AARP to release the names of the more than 100 nursing homes and assisted living facilities that have indicated they have positive COVID-19 cases on their campuses.”
The DeSantis administration had reportedly intervened in an attempt to stop the Miami Herald from filing a public records lawsuit to obtain the records.
“The state’s refusal to release the names of the facilities had drawn a public records challenge from a coalition of news organizations. Begun as a lawsuit drafted by the Miami Herald, the challenge had drawn support from several other news media, including Gannett’s Florida publications, the Sun Sentinel, the Orlando Sentinel, the Tampa Bay Times, The New York Times, Scripps’ five Florida TV stations, and the First Amendment Foundation,” the newspaper reported