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Florida’s governor easing nursing home visitation restrictions before holidays

FILE - In this Thursday, May 14, 2020, file photo, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news...
FILE - In this Thursday, May 14, 2020, file photo, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)(Lynne Sladky | AP)
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 2:32 PM EDT
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FORT MYERS, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida’s governor is further easing restrictions on visitation at nursing homes and long term care facilities as the holidays approach.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that children will now be allowed to visit residents of long term care facilities.

He also ordered the Division of Emergency Management to lift the existing five visitor limit and allow facilities to set their own limit on the number of visitors a resident may have.

The governor said the number of COVID cases in long term care facilities in Florida has dropped 70% since September 1, when the state first started allowing limited visitation.

“You have to look at the whole enchilada,” DeSantis said about residents' overall wellbeing. “You want to have an environment that’s safe, but also want an environment with a lot of love.”

One woman described her father’s decline since the pandemic started.

“That first hug that I got with my dad was just priceless,” she said. "Since then he’s gotten a lot better. "

Another woman whose husband is in memory care talked about how important family visits are for people battling Alzheimer’s. She described it as “critical time” with him while he can still remember her and his grandchildren.

The governor also promised a continued supply of 15-minute rapid COVID tests to give families and facilities more confidence in visitation.

You can watch the full roundtable discussion, which was broadcast live on WCTV’s Facebook page, below or at this link.

Fla. governor long-term care facilities round table in Fort Myers

LIVE: Gov. Ron DeSantis is holding a roundtable on long-term care facilities in Fort Myers.

Posted by WCTV.tv on Thursday, October 22, 2020

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