The wait is over. You may not have to look through a window or FaceTime a loved one in a nursing home or in long-term care.
After several meetings, a state task force came up with ways to lift some restrictions on visitation. Children under 18 are still not permitted.
Visitors are required to wear personal protective equipment. Those not making physical contact still must wear a mask, the state announced.
“We will wear a biohazard suit. They need human touch,” Mary Daniel said at a meeting. She was chosen after taking a job as a dishwasher to be with her husband during the pandemic. He’s in a Jacksonville care center with early onset Alzheimer’s.
Here’s a link to the new order and specifics for visitors: https://www.floridadisaster.org/globalassets/covid19/dem-order-20-009-signed.pdf
General visitors have to be 18 or older and wear a face mask.
They must sign a consent form indicating they understand the facility’s visitation policies. They must comply with facility-provided COVID-19 testing if offered. They must maintain social distance of at least 6 feet with staff and residents.
Every facility must continue to prohibit the entry of any individual except in the following circumstances:
- Family members, friends and individuals visiting residents in end-of-life situations;
- Essential caregivers and compassionate care visitors; and general visitors under specific criteria;
- Hospice or palliative care workers caring for residents in end-of-life situations;
- Facility staff and residents;
- Any individual or providers giving necessary health care to a resident. Such individuals or providers must comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for PPE. They must be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to entry. They must comply with all infection control requirements of the CDC and the facility;
- Attorneys of record for a resident in an adult mental health and treatment facility. Or a forensic facility for court- related matters if virtual or telephonic means are unavailable;
- Public guardians, professional guardians and their professional staff as defined in Florida Statue 744;
- Representatives of the federal or state government seeking entry as part of their official duties.
The state also put specific rules in place for each facility. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the distribution of more personal protect equipment to long-term care facilities to assist with new procedures.