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DeSantis Says Floridians Will Be Able to Visit Loved Ones In Long-Term Care Facilities Without Being Tested For Coronavirus

Photo: Florida Channel
Photo: Florida Channel

Gov. Ron DeSantis made the comments at a round table at Universal Orlando on Wednesday.

DeSantis says it will be up to individual long-term facilities to decide whether they’ll require visitors to get tested, but it won’t be mandated by the state. 

His comments come after his task force recommended reopening facilities to the public for the first time since they closed in mid-March.

“My view on it is that the testing would be fine but it’s not necessary if you take the proper precautions and wear the PPE. And so I think that that’s the direction that we’re going to go.”

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If DeSantis approves the task forces’ recommendations, essential caregivers wearing masks and gloves would be able to schedule short visits with residents. 

DeSantis said changes like this one and an extension of unemployment benefits would help improve Floridian's mental health. He said the state applied for a Department of Labor loan today to extend benefits for furloughed and laid-off workers.

The state doesn't have the option of paying for the program using CARES Act dollars as funds have already been allocated for other expenses.

“I spoke with the Secretary of Labor, I think it will be favorably approved so then we will be able to then turn around and offer that enhanced benefit with the FEMA/Department of Labor approach but not using the CARES Act dollars so that will happen."

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Under President Trump’s executive order, states can get an additional 300 dollars a week in unemployment assistance, but only after they put forward an extra 100 dollars a week.
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Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.