Ohio Governor announces visitation changes to nursing homes and assisted living facilities

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 2:26 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced changes to the rules for visitation at nursing homes and assisted living facilities during a press conference Monday.

The governor says visitation is now required at nursing homes and assisted living as long as the criteria is met.

He also announced vaccinated residents will be allowed to have physical touch with visitors as long as they’re wearing a mask.

Visitation will be allowed in a resident’s private room. Previously there had to be a separate visitation area, but Gov. DeWine says that has changed. They will be required to have at least 30 minutes for a visit.

The compassionate care visits examples list will be expanded, Gov. DeWine says.

Governor DeWine says the orders being issued are also updating what testing is required in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Although many of the residents are vaccinated and everyone who wanted the vaccine has received one, the governor says they need to continue regularly testing for the virus. It’s good science, will help identify cases early and help prevent spreading the coronavirus.

The governor says nursing homes and assisted living to test vaccinated staff once per week. However, unvaccinated staff will be tested twice per week.

There will still be times where visitation could be restricted, such as a coronavirus outbreak.

If you have trouble scheduling an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine, you should call the COVID hotline at 1-833-427-5634.

The governor says there are many places where there is a great demand for the vaccine, but there are some providers who are having a hard time filling appointments. If a local health department or hospital isn’t filling all of their slots this week, they may book with anyone 16 years of age and older.

As of March 22, Ohio has reached a milestone with cases. There have been 1,001,194 total reported coronavirus cases.

Within the last 24 hours, there have been 1,444 new cases, 78 hospitalizations, 13 ICU admissions and 0 deaths.

Overall, there have been 52,207 hospitalizations, 7,339 ICU admissions and 18,340 deaths.

Governor DeWine says they are seeing a plateau with cases.

“They were going down for a while. It looks like they’ve kind of leveled out and we’ll just have to see where that goes. We know that Michigan, for example, is seeing a significant increase in cases in certain parts of the state. We’re also seeing that in West Virginia in certain parts of the state. Both states of course boarder Ohio.”

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