Visitation legislation became permanent on April 6, 2022 with the Governor signing SB 988 by Sen. Ileana Garcia (R-Miami) and Rep. Jason Shoaf (R-Blountstown) into law. This is the resident visitation bill creates an essential caregiver and aims to provide some uniformity for visitation policies across providers, including nursing centers and assisted living facilities.

SB 988 states health care facilities must allow in-person visitation in all of the following circumstances, unless the resident, client, or patient objects:

  • End-of-life situations.
  • A resident, client, or patient who was living with family before being admitted to the provider’s care is struggling with the change in environment and lack of in-person family support.
  • A resident, client, or patient is making one or more major medical decisions.
  • A resident, client, or patient is experiencing emotional distress or grieving the loss of a friend or family member who recently died.
  • A resident, client, or patient needs cueing or encouragement to eat or drink which was previously provided by a family member or caregiver.
  • A resident, client, or patient who used to talk and interact with others is seldom speaking.
  • For hospitals, childbirth, including labor and delivery.
  • Pediatric patients.