TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a COVID-19-linked bill requiring health care centers to allow in-person visitations, as the Republican announced he approved dozens of other measures passed during this year’s legislative session.
DeSantis held a ceremonial signing for the health care visitation bill Wednesday then announced hours later that he had also signed more than 40 other proposals into law.
The visitation bill requires that health care facilities, including nursing homes, allow in-person visits during end-of-life situations and in most other cases. DeSantis and other state health officials said the measure was inspired by hospitals limiting visits during the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s nothing wrong with taking precautions and if they want you to wear PPE, but to not let somebody be there with their loved one, end of life situations, to lose a family member and be shut out of being able to go into the hospital, that is fundamentally wrong,” the governor said.
Under the law, health care facilities have to establish visitation rules that include infection control and education policies for visitors. The policies cannot be more stringent than safety rules applied to the facility’s staff and may not require proof of any vaccination or immunization. A health care center can suspend in-person visitation for specific people if they violate rules.
Among the other pieces of legislation DeSantis signed Wednesday is a bill that limits out-of-state donations to political committees involved in ballot initiatives to $3,000. Another bill reduces the required amount of time certified nursing assistants must spend with nursing home residents from two-and-a-half hours to two hours per day.