News & Information > News Releases

May 18, 2020

CONTACT: Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

Facilities Update Statement

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The health and safety of residents and employees is the top priority of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). On May 12, the Department of Health (DOH) came to Sunland Center in Marianna to test residents and employees of one home for COVID-19. DOH also conducted mandatory testing on May 14 for all Sunland residents and employees. Additionally, six residents in the Pathways forensic program on the Sunland Campus have tested positive, with two in the hospital. There are four employees of this facility who have tested positive.

The testing results for one home show that 15 residents are positive for COVID-19. Currently five residents are hospitalized. Additionally, 19 employees have tested positive, with many of them working in the same home. APD is partnering with DOH to bring in nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants to work at Sunland while employees are recovering from the illness.

APD manages the Developmental Disabilities Defendant Program (DDDP) in Chattahoochee. One DDDP employee has tested positive.

DOH conducted mandatory testing at the Tacachale Center in Gainesville last week. All the residents and staff tests came back negative. One contracted employee tested positive last month and is on leave.

APD began screening visitors at the beginning of this outbreak, and currently does not allow visitors. Required vendors, regulatory officials, and first responders must follow screening procedures to gain access to any facility. APD is requiring all employees to wear face masks as an additional precaution.

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 55,000 Floridians with disabilities. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit or call toll-free 1‑866‑APD‑CARES (1‑866‑273‑2273).