TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Families with loves ones in nursing homes and long term care facilities that have been kept apart by the coronavirus pandemic will finally be able to reunite.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted the state’s ban on visiting nurising homes, but there will still be some safety conditions.
The ban has cut off vulnerable seniors from family since mid-March over fears of spreading the new coronavirus.
DeSantis lifted the ban with an executive order Tuesday, following recommendations from a nursing home task force that has met in recent weeks.
The executive order can be found below:
Daniel Gonzalez told Local 10 News his grandfather Luis died from COVID-19, alone, at a nursing home.
He still believes one visit, perhaps by someone who has the virus and doesn’t know it, could put too many others at risk
“We have to put our emotions on the back burner just for a second, for the greater good of the community, and for the group that’s most susceptible to this virus, which is the elder population,” Gonzalez said.
The governor got emotional during Tuesday’s press conference, at one point appearing to shed a few tears.
The task force has recommended that nursing homes allow family members to visit their loved ones no more than two at a time, and that they wear protective gear including masks.
Facilities would need to go 14 days without any new COVID-19 cases.
The full report of recommendations from the task force can be read below: