Changes to visitation policies at nursing homes goes into effect Friday, DeWine says

Rosa DeSoto, Gloria DeSoto
Posted at 11:45 AM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 11:45:29-04

CLEVELAND — Beginning Friday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state regulations describing how visits at nursing homes and assisted living facilities should occur will be lifted. Federal rules and guidance will remain in place.

“We are now at the point where the state needs to stand back in regards to visitation. But we really encourage nursing homes to allow for as much visitation as possible,” DeWine said.

The state will lift the requirement that limited the number of visitors at a time and the requirement to schedule a visit ahead of time.

DeWine said there has been a lot of confusion about the number of visitors allowed in a nursing home. He said the limitation is not something the state put in place, but rather the individual nursing home.

“We're making it very, very clear that beginning tomorrow, you know, if the nursing home where your loved one is has regulations, that is up to that nursing home, that is not something that we are imposing on that nursing home,” he said.

The one regulation that will remain in place is the testing of unvaccinated employees twice a week. Those who are vaccinated will not be required to get tested.

“We are doing that because of the unique nature of the nursing home assisted living. We are still seeing new cases in nursing homes,” he said. "The numbers are dramatically down. We've been able to take them down. We're providing free testing, putting the vaccine in the nursing homes for new people who are arriving."

Beginning Friday, The Ohio Department of Aging will host webinars about the latest information and safety and health protocols surrounding nursing homes and other congregate facilities.

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