County Emails: Southern Oaks Has Long-Term Care COVID-19 Cases, Name Three Other Facilities Visited By Health Department Team

April 15, 2020

We are learning more about the reported cases of COVID-19 in Escambia County nursing homes through emails obtained through a public records request.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 48 coronavirus infections among staff members or residents of long-term care facilities in Escambia County, according to the Florida Department of Health. That is an increase of six cases on Wednesday. The FDOH has not and refused to identify the facilities.

Through emails obtained through public records requests made independently by and Rick Outzen of, we have learned that on April 7, Southern Oaks Care Center Administrator Lois Petty emailed Escambia County Emergency Manager Eric Gilmore that a staff member and a resident had tested positive for COVID-19 (see email below). She said the health department and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration had visited the facility on West Gregory Street in Pensacola on the previous day and tested eight additional residents.

Petty said they toured her facility, reviewing systems and equipment. She said she was informed that she should have emergency management fit test staff for N95 masks. She asked for help with the fittings and help securing more N95 masks.

Gilmore responded that Escambia County Emergency Management does not fit test masks, and he provided a link to local vendor ProHealth that does.

Another email from Dr. John Lanza, director of the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County, to Gilmore states on April 8 that eight nurses and an infection control practitioner would visit Southern Oaks, Brookedale, Bayside and Arcadia on April 9.

Brookdale Pensacola assisted living is located on University Parkway. Bayside Health and Rehabilitation Center is on Langley Avenue, and Arcadia Health and Rehabilitation Center is on Hillview Drive.  The emails obtained Wednesday from Escambia County do not specifically say there are positive COVID-19 cases at Brookdale, Bayside or Arcadia, and no information about the facilities has been officially released.


3 Responses to “County Emails: Southern Oaks Has Long-Term Care COVID-19 Cases, Name Three Other Facilities Visited By Health Department Team”

  1. Lowly paid on April 17th, 2020 9:37 pm

    Unfortunately no most nursing home employees have never been fitted for n95 masks, until now there has really never been a reason to.

  2. Daniel Mitchell on April 15th, 2020 9:48 pm

    There is people that work at more than just one assisted living home. Health Dept needs to cross check these people. My wife was sent home for that very reason today because a staff member who works at more than one home. That person also works at Southern Oaks.

  3. Insane on April 15th, 2020 4:58 pm

    They do not have their employees fit tested for N95’s? Then the N95 is potentially useless. It’s funny that even low level Sacred Heart employees are fit tested for an N95, yet a ton of these other places do not.

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