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Florida Nursing Homes to Reopen to Visitors [Gray Area of the Law]

September 01, 2020

Shareholder John Ruffier discusses Governor Ron DeSantis’ announcement that nursing homes and assisted living facilities will begin to once again allow visitors. 

The State of Florida appears finally ready to allow visitors to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Soon after the initial outbreak of COVID-19, Florida had issued an emergency order prohibiting visitation to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities except by family and friends during end-of-life situations or for the purposes of health care or legal services. On September 1, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that a task force given responsibility for coming up with procedures for reopening facilities to visitors had fulfilled its mission and he would be signing a new executive order allowing visitation to resume, but only in compliance with guidelines recommended by the task force. [...]

This is an excerpt from a blog post originally written on Gray Area of the Law. To read the entire post, click here.

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John Ruffier concentrates his legal practice on commercial real estate, representing clients within Florida and across the nation. As the firm's Senior Housing Group chair, he also helps companies build their senior living portfolios from the ground up. 

Whether representing companies that are developing, acquiring or selling commercial real estate, or lenders who are making or modifying commercial loans, John’s skills garnered from his championship rowing days serve him well. After all, rowing is a lot like business: both require a clear vision and goal, a well-developed plan, manageable milestones and a laser-like focus – with the flexibility to adjust when necessary.

Restaurants, big box retail stores, office buildings, golf courses, and senior living facilities are among the real estate transactions in John’s dossier, both in Florida and across the United States. Clients appreciate John’s holistic approach to deals – like in his rowing days, John ignores distractions and always keeps his focus on the goal line of getting the deal done. With senior housing, John and his team work on such diverse issues such as land use, licensing, financing, labor and employment, management and operations, all to provide clients with advice that carefully looks at both immediate needs and the long-term prospects for potential transactions.

When he is not practicing law, John is heavily involved in The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. He founded Orlando’s HRC Steering Committee which has received numerous national awards since its inception. Although still involved on a local level, John now focuses his service as a member of the organization’s national Board of Directors and will take over as Board Chair next year.  John is also the past President of the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida, an AIDS service organization in Orlando. The organization has awarded him the “Chuck Hummer II Visionary Award” in recognition of his leadership in the LGBT community.

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