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Orlando long-term care facility is ready for visitors amid COVID-19 pandemic

Officials with Sonata Senior Living said while restrictions have been lifted there will still be rules to adhere to

ORLANDO, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis said as soon he signs the order to lift the state’s ban, visitors can reunite with loved ones in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

Joy Smith has been waiting for the announcement since the executive order went into place in March.

“It’s been really hard and I’m trying not to get emotional,” Smith said.

Smith said she has been visiting her mother at a Titusville rehabilitation and nursing center through a window, because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“It has been 175 days and these people haven’t been able to hug, touch a hand, or get a back rub,” Smith said.

Ahead of the Governor’s announcement, Shelley Esden with Sonata Senior Living in Orlando said their facility was prepared and in position to follow the mandated guidelines.

“As long as families understand that there are going to be restrictions, screenings will continue, temperatures will continue to be taken and masks must be worn,” Esden said.

Elaine Wadler said her mother has been in isolation for far too long.

“At 101 years old she is not sick she has dementia,” Wadler said.

Officials with Sonata Senior Living said while restrictions have been lifted there will still be rules to adhere to.

“So we are going to have to work with our families and they are going to have to understand this is a phased approach but we look forward to doing so and we feel we can safely do this,” Esden said.


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