In Florida, more than 600 residents in nursing homes have died from COVID-19. Over the past few months, the state has put rules in place to protect the vulnerable residents. Some of those changes include restricting visitors, requiring staff to be screened, and wearing masks. Now, Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to open these facilities back up to visitors.
"I'm not going to sign off unless I'm convinced it's going to be safe, but I don't think we can just say no, I think we have a responsibility to try. Now that may be requiring PPE, maybe it requires a rapid test, that will all be determined," DeSantis says.
DeSantis also says he recognizes the ban comes at a cost to families.
"This is an issue. We can't just turn a blind eye. Yes, it was right, we had no choice. We had to do it. But we got to figure out a way to get to a yes. We got to figure out a way to give some folks hope and be able to see their family, and so we're working on it," DeSantis says.
DeSantis hasn't announced when he will lift the ban. In the meantime, he says the state is working to protect vulnerable seniors from the coronavirus by maintaining screening requirements and ensuring masks and gloves are available for staff members.