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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Have COVID restrictions kept you from visiting a loved one at a health care facility?

Elderly person, whose face cannot be seen, is sitting in a wheelchair with a blanket. Another hand reaches out and touches her arm.
Patients in hospitals and long-term care facilities have not always been able to see their loved ones due to visitation restrictions implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We want to hear how pandemic visitation restrictions affected your family.

For nearly two years, the coronavirus pandemic has forced hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities to limit visitors from seeing patients in order to curb the spread of infection. Some restrictions have eased since the initial lockdowns of 2020, but others return when communities experience case surges.

Health leaders have argued the safety protocols are necessary to protect patients and staff, but there are also unintended consequences, including harms to mental health and the separation of families at pivotal moments, such as the death of a loved one.

Now, state lawmakers are considering legislation that would require some facilities to allow visitors under certain circumstances.

How has your family has been affected by visitation restrictions during the pandemic? Did you have to say goodbye to a loved one on Zoom? Were you hospitalized for an extended period of time and couldn’t see your family?

Fill out this form to share your experiences with us and, if you’re willing, a reporter may get in touch with you for a story. Thanks for being part of the conversation.

I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.