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New Florida law allows families back into assisted living facilities, even during a health emergency

Mary Daniel stands in a mask and scrubs next to her husband Steve after she accepted a job as a dishwasher at his assisted-living facility.
Mary Daniel
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Mary Daniel stands next to her husband Steve after she accepted a job as a dishwasher at his assisted-living facility.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed the "No Patient Left Alone" act into law in early April. It takes effect on July 1.

This week on Florida Matters, we talk with Health News Florida reporter Stephanie Colombini about her reporting on Florida’s “No Patient Left Alone” act.

The new law lets family members visit patients in health care facilities — even during an emergency like a pandemic.

It goes into effect on July 1 and will allow patients to choose an essential caregiver, who will be guaranteed two hours of visitation every day.

Over the course of her reporting, Colombini talked with Mary Daniel, a Jacksonville patient advocate, and Veronica Catoe, CEO of the Florida Assisted Living Association.

Host Matthew Peddie checked back in with Daniel in late April to hear what the new law means for her husband, who’s in a memory care facility.

Peddie also talked with Catoe about her perspective on how assisted living facilities will implement the new guidelines for letting loved ones in.

You can listen to host Matthew Peddie's conversations with Colombini and Daniel by clicking on the “Listen” button above. Or you can listen on the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

His full conversation with Catoe will be available in this story shortly.

Hi there! I’m Dinorah Prevost and I’m the producer of Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show. That basically means that I plan, record and edit the interviews we feature on the show.
I am the host of WUSF’s weekly public affairs show Florida Matters, where I get to indulge my curiosity in people and explore the endlessly fascinating stories that connect this community.