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DeWine reminds Ohioans of compassionate care visits

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:48 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTAP) - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine clarified long-term care visitation guidelines during his Monday news briefing, noting there are always acceptable reasons to visit, even if the facility is not allowing most visitors.

DeWine said Ohio’s nursing homes and other facilities follow federal guidelines designed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, of which there are three main criteria: There have not been new coronavirus cases in 14 days, the facility isn’t conducting outbreak testing, and federal authorities report the county positivity rate is less than 10 percent.

If any of those criteria aren’t met, a nursing home cannot allow most visitors. But, DeWine said there are exceptions called compassionate care visits.

Compassionate care visits are broadly defined by a news release as “special visits in which a family member or other visitor provides comfort, support, and assistance to a resident whose well-being is suffering or at risk, are always permitted regardless of the criteria above.”

DeWine gave specific examples during his news briefing, including visiting family members who are grieving the loss of a friend or family member, visiting residents whose metal well-being is deteriorating to the point they are not eating or drinking enough, or even visiting a family member who recently moved into a facility and hasn’t adjusted well to the change. DeWine said there are many other circumstances that would also warrant a compassionate care visit.

The governor also said that cases have dramatically decreased in nursing homes in Ohio. In December, nearly 3,000 new cases were reported in a week, while last week, that number was down to 343.

You can find information on which nursing homes are allowing visitation other than compassionate care visits here.

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