Governor Ron DeSantis today ordered Florida’s senior care facilities to further reopen their doors to visitors at a news conference in Fort Myers.
The governor wants kids to be able to visit facilities, claiming “they aren’t major vectors of the virus,” and for facilities to begin making allowances for residents to “leave for overnight holiday visits with their families.”
Nursing homes nationwide have been on lock down for most of the year. Residents living in congregate care settings have shown to be especially vulnerable to the virus, with more than 260,000 residents being infected and over 60,000 succumbing to COVID19, according to the latest federal data. Public officials quickly banned family visitation to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, convinced that this was a necessary strategy to mitigate spread.
But families argued that residents suffered damaging psychosocial and physical effects from the extreme isolation. Their public outcry convinced officials to begin easing visitation restrictions.
Nearly two months has passed since Governor DeSantis released his initial limited reopening plan. This latest order would make Florida’s nursing homes among the most open in the nation.