HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Gov. DeSantis looks to allow visits again at Florida's nursing homes

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2020 at 4:36 PM

click to enlarge Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday - SCREENSHOT VIA FLORIDA CHANNEL
  • Screenshot via Florida Channel
  • Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday
Gov. Ron DeSantis, acknowledging what he called the “emotional damage” caused by a lockdown of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic, said on Tuesday that the state will look at ways to ease restrictions that have kept nursing-home residents and family members separated since March.

“I think that would put a lot of people at ease knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” DeSantis said. He said one idea that the state is considering would allow people who test positive for COVID-19 antibodies — an indication they have already had the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus — to be able to enter nursing homes and assisted living facilities.



The governor said he will set up a task force to also look at other options.

DeSantis made the announcement during an event in Jacksonville that included Mary Daniel, who drew national attention because she became a dishwasher at a memory care facility so she could spend time at the center with her husband, who has early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Daniel told the governor that family members are “desperate” to see their loved ones who have been isolated after the state closed off care facilities as part of the state’s strategy to keep COVID-19 from spreading.

Seniors and people with underlying health conditions are particularly vulnerable to the disease. Daniel said she and others are willing to follow any rule that could allow visitation.

“We don’t want to open the doors, we don’t want to be foolish,” Daniel said. “It’s incredibly important we get it right.”
Daniel suggested following the lead of Indiana and Minnesota, which have placed an “essential caregiver” designation on family members who visited at least twice a week before the pandemic. Those family members are tested regularly.

Daniel also noted that some states allow visitation in outside areas, where residents and family members wear some sort of protective equipment. Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma hinted July 22 that the Trump administration would reopen visitation at nursing homes if the facilities were COVID-19 free for two weeks.

To help accomplish that goal, the federal government will send rapid point-of-care diagnostic devices and associated tests to nursing homes.
click to enlarge Mary Daniel on Tuesday - SCREENSHOT VIA FLORIDA CHANNEL
  • Screenshot via Florida Channel
  • Mary Daniel on Tuesday

_
Please follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories to stay safe, and please support this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation