Six residents of an assisted-living facility in Broward County have died from COVID-19, including three new deaths that were reported Thursday.
The death toll at Atria Willow Wood in Fort Lauderdale has been rising since the first resident died there on March 16, and others have tested positive for the disease.
At this point, 16 residents have tested positive, including the six victims, according to the company that owns the center on West Commercial Boulevard. Results from two more tests are pending.
“Our primary concern right now is supporting our residents and staff and doing everything in our power to keep them safe,” Atria officials said in a statement Thursday. “We will also continue to work with the Department of Health and Agency for Health Care Administration as we monitor and respond to this ever-changing situation.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has blamed Willow Wood for the deaths. He says that “construction workers, staff and cooks who were ill were not screened” and allowed to socialize with residents, despite warnings for such facilities earlier this month.
The company insists the facility began implementing precautions on March 4 to protect its residents, including screening visitors and workers.
Broward County currently has 504 confirmed cases of coronavirus, second only to Miami-Dade throughout the state.