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Ohio announces changes to visitation in nursing, assisted living homes

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine(Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, The Ohio Channel)
Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 3:58 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 22, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT
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Ohio has now surpassed one million COVID-19 cases.

And state leaders say the decline in statistics from the last two months has begun to level out.

Gov. Mike DeWine Monday noted hospitalizations which were declining have begun to increase.

This, as he announced vaccine locations who have shots available can expand availability to all adults.

Eligibility for all Ohioans 16 and older takes effect March 29TH.

Medical experts say, while the end of the pandemic is in sight, it isn’t over.

”We’re getting more and more vaccines into arms every day; we’re also seeing more and more activity from the variants,” noted Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, who added variants can now be found in all 50 states. “So this is not the time to throw caution to the wind.”

The governor also announced some relaxed guidelines for nursing and assisted living homes.

Changes to the governor’s previous orders include:

  • Ohio is requiring that visitation be permitted whenever safety protocols can be met. Previously, visitation was permitted, not required;
  • Vaccinated residents may have physical touch with their visitor while wearing a mask. Previously, touch was discouraged;
  • Visits may occur in a resident’s private room, as opposed to the previous requirement of a separate visitation area;
  • 30 minutes should serve as the minimum amount of time for a visit. Previously, 30 minutes was the maximum time to visit.

The order will also expand the circumstances in which compassionate care visits should be granted.

In addition, the order will update nursing home and assisted living testing requirements to require the facilities to test vaccinated staff once per week and unvaccinated staff twice per week. The previous order made no distinction between vaccinated or unvaccinated staff.

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