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Gov. DeSantis creates task force to safely reopen long-term care facilities

The governor said he recognizes the need to get families back together, but that facilities will be reopened safely.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis is looking for ways to safely reopen long-term care facilities in the state. 

In a news conference Wednesday, Gov. DeSantis announced the creation of a task force that will look into ways long-term care facilities can open back up safely for families and visitors. 

DeSantis said that with more than 4,400 long-term care facilities across the state, protecting patients and staff was a major concern since the beginning of the pandemic. He said Florida quickly prohibited people from visiting long term care facilities and wouldn't allow patients who tested positive to be sent back. 

During the pandemic, the governor said the state has established long-term facilities that have the ability to quarantine patients who tested positive. He also said the new mobile testing lab, which provides 3,500 rapid tests a week, has been working exclusively at long-term care facilities.  

DeSantis said he wants to bring families back together as quickly and safely possible but wants to make sure the virus doesn't continue to spread. He said he understands that being in isolation comes with a social cost. 

Emmit Reed with the Florida Healthcare Association said the task force was put together to find out what the state needs to look like in order to open facilities back up. He says he wants every resident and staff member tested and thinks every facility should have a testing regiment in place. 

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