ODH director signs order for testing of staff and residents at residential care facilities

Ohio Department of Health
Posted at 10:40 AM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 10:40:31-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday that Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes has signed an order for COVID-19 testing of residents and staff at all residential care facilities.

Beginning on Aug. 24, each residential care facility licensed by ODH will be required to test staff members.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the spread of the coronavirus at residential care facilities has been a concern among health officials because of their congregate nature and the at-risk population they serve.

The state will provide guidance to mitigate facility staffing shortage in the event staff test positive for COVID-19 and are unable to work, according to CDC guidance.

The order will remain in place until the state of emergency declared by the governor is lifted.

Read the full order here.

Similar testing has been required at Ohio's nursing homes since May when then-Public Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed an orderrequiring licensed nursing homes to cooperate with strategic testing of staff and residents in accordance with ODH guidelines.

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