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DeSantis urges hospitals to allow end-of-life visitors despite COVID-19 restrictions

Florida reports another one-day high with 191 coronavirus-related deaths

Hospital Bed
Hospital Bed (KSAT 2020)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The same day Florida reported yet another record with 191 additional COVID-19 related deaths, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he’s calling on hospitals to allow end-of-life visitors for patients.

As coronavirus numbers have continued to balloon across the state, many hospitals have restricted visitors to prevent the spread of the virus.

DeSantis said he understands and supports the effort to restrict visitors but said exceptions should be made for families if their loved one is dying.

DeSantis called COVID-19 a “very lonely illness,” pointing to the isolation needed for those infected not to spread it within the community.

He said he’s heard from families upset about losing their loved ones to COVID-19 who said the situation was made even worse because they were not able to be with them at the end.

“That’s just a human thing that I think has long-term ramifications,” DeSantis said.

At a news conference at AdventHealth in Orlando, DeSantis applauded the hospital’s policy to allow end-of-life visitation.

“I think that that’s been a big relief to a lot of families to be able to have that intimate connection during a difficult time,” DeSantis said. “That can really mean a lot for the families for the rest of their lives.”

DeSantis encouraged other hospitals around the state to adopt similar policies.

In Jacksonville, Baptist Health, Mayo Clinic, Ascension St. Vincent’s and UF Health all have exceptions to their COVID-19 visitation policies for end-of-life care.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.