Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday many restrictions on long-term care facilities in Florida will be lifted. But some family members who have been affected think the state is letting some facilities off easy.
Some visitors of long-term care facilities have been allowed since September, but more will be allowed after the governor’s announcement in Fort Meyers.
“We have the tools that we need. We’ve got the PPE. We’ve got the testing capability,” DeSantis said.
The governor announced a state order which would lift restrictions on children visiting long-term care facilities. The number of visitors per day will now be up to the individual facility.
People still cannot visit inside if there’s a patient with COVID-19, but they can do outdoor visits even if the facility has a positive case.
“You had folks in these facilities who had a tough time. When the families are able to reunite, it was a real, real weight off their shoulders,” DeSantis said.
This comes shortly after there’s an update from one of the largest long-term care facility hotspots in South Florida.
According to court documents recently filed by the state, Fair Havens, a nursing home in Miami Springs failed to follow CDC guidelines and properly quarantine residents. In the settlement, the state fined the facility $67,000 but did not revoke its license.
Carmen Marin’s brother in law, Jose Garcia, passed away after a May outbreak in the facility.
“It’s very painful to have a family member to have to go this way,” Marin told NBC 6 in May. “Not being able to hold the hand. Not being able to say goodbye.”
She was not available to talk on camera Thursday but told NBC 6 by phone she was “outraged” and felt the facility was “let off easy.”
According to the Florida Department of Health, 54 people have died at the facility after contracting the virus.
NBC 6 reached out to Fair Havens and have not yet heard back.