Duval County

Florida Governor extends visitation ban to nursing homes/assisted living facilities for another 60 days

FLORIDA — You will have to wait two more months, at least, to hug loved ones in a Florida nursing home or assisted living facility. Governor Ron DeSantis extended the visitation ban, again.

“Her playing with my hair, putting it behind my ears,” said Mona Peterson.

It’s the little things Mona Peterson misses.

“Those little moments, I’m not going to get back,” said Peterson.  

She knows she’s missing precious time with her 93-year-old mother.

“I cry a lot. I’m upset a lot, I worry a lot,” she said.

For about 120 days, visitors like Mona have been banned from long-term care facilities in Florida because of COVID-19. This week, Governor Ron DeSantis extended the ban for another 60 days. Like many families across Florida, Mona sees her mom through a glass window, touching the glass, trying to get as close as she can to her mom.

“I can see her but I can’t touch her,” she said.

“The recent rise in COVID-19 throughout Florida certainly has indicated the reopening of the facilities is impossible. We’ve got to look at safety first,” said Doug Adkins, executive director for Dayspring Village in Nassau County.

Adkins knows the importance of protecting our elderly, but he said he also knows the importance of reconnecting residents and families.

As for Mona, she is worried her mom won’t be the same as when she last saw her.

“Is she still going to be the way when I last saw her, that’s just every day, I have those questions,” she said.

Action News Jax is helping put together pictures, messages of encouragement, short videos, and songs to send to those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Northeast Florida. If you would like to participate and add a message please email us at web@actionnewsjax.com with your picture, short video or song. Thank you.