Florida relaxes nursing home requirements in wake of hurricane

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Florida has permitted some nursing homes to accommodate numbers above the level they are licensed for in the wake of the devastation imparted by Hurricane Charley. Hurricane Charley, the strongest storm that has hit Florida in 12 years, has killed about 20 people and rendered thousands homeless.

The state has been trying to find ways to soften the impact the hurricane has on the elderly population. It's running 10 special-needs shelters catering to about 389 mostly elderly people displaced from assisted living centers and nursing homes, according to the Florida Department of Health. Nursing homes have provided medical staff to these shelters.

The Life Care Center of Sarasota nursing home is caring for 12 more people than its official capacity.

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