Florida families can bring long-term care facility residents home for holidays

Coronavirus

TAMPA (WFLA) – Family members will be allowed to bring their loved ones home from Florida long-term care facilities this upcoming holiday season, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration.

In a document titled “Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities Questions & Answers,” Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz issued key revisions for long-term care facilities clarifying visitation appearances that were previously planned by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

According to a document that has since been removed from the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration’s website, residents must be permitted to leave the facility if they wish, including holiday visits and there will be no restriction on the length of absence which may include overnight.

The document goes onto say “All residents must be screened upon return to the facility… Families must be informed of necessary precautions to take during the absence, and of the requirement to screen the resident upon return to the facility.”

The order states that upon return to a facility if a resident does not pass screening criteria, they should be quarantined or isolated based on their circumstances consistent with CDC guidance. If the resident passes screening criteria, then they do not have to be quarantined or isolated.

Additionally, general visitors can now meet with residents outdoors and children may also now visit residents.

DeSantis had announced back on Oct. 22 that he planned to loosen restrictions at long-term care facilities which were first put in place in March to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. 

The announcement comes as Florida’s statewide case count has surpassed 827,000 cases with the state’s resident death toll approaching 17,000.

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