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Florida lifting ban on nursing home visits

September 1, 2020

Florida will lift a ban on nursing home visits that had been in place since March to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Tuesday. 

DeSantis said officials weighed the risks of visitation against “the certain harm of prolonged isolation.” 

The governor said he will be lifting the ban in an executive order later Tuesday, adding that he is following recommendations from a nursing home task force that met in recent weeks, according to The Associated Press

The task force recommended that no more than two family members, wearing protective gear including masks, be allowed to visit residents at a time. Facilities would also need to go 14 days without any new cases of COVID-19 among staff or residents to allow the visits, according to the AP. 

Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew, who led the task force, reportedly said that 62 percent of the state’s facilities have not had a new case since Aug. 11. 

Florida has had one of the worst outbreaks of the coronavirus in the U.S., reporting more than 623,000 COVID-19 cases and 11,187 related deaths, according to state data.

DeSantis did not impose statewide face mask requirements, but has allowed local leaders to make such mandates.

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