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New regulations for assisted living homes in Ohio begin at midnight

Rules hope to stop COVID-19 spread
Nursing home testing
Posted at 9:36 PM, Aug 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-23 23:26:42-04

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — New state orders designed to stop the spread of coronavirus inside Ohio's assisted living homes are set to take effect beginning at midnight.

The orders require testing of all workers inside assisted living centers as well as "strategic testing" of residents.

The hope is by catching people infected with the virus early, they can be isolated and limit the spread to a particularly vulnerable population because of the age and possibility of pre-existing medical conditions.

"They’re the highest risk for having severe illness, and they’re at extreme risk for developing infections and transmitting those infections amongst other individuals," said Dr. Steven Filby of University Hospitals.

At Menorah Park in Beachwood, administrators began testing workers on its campus about a week ago.

Out of 300 test results, administrators said no workers tested positive for the virus.

The new regulations largely mirror what the state put in place for Ohio's nursing homes back in May.

According to the state department of health, 5,719 workers in long term care facilities have tested positive for coronavirus since April 15.

State figures show 10,376 nursing home residents tested positive for COVID-19 during the same period. The department of health says 2,195 residents died of the virus.

Jane Friedman, a 90 year old Menorah Park resident who wrote a song about coronavirus, said she welcomes the mandatory testing of workers.

"I think anything we can possibly do to help us get rid of this epidemic we have to do," said Friedman.

RELATED: Gov. Mike DeWine announces adult day centers, senior centers can open Sept. 21