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Ohio pushes back on Trump suggestion all nursing homes should be tested for coronavirus

Gov. Dewine questions Trump suggestion
Donald Trump, Mike DeWine
Posted at 5:16 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 18:26:23-04

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is questioning the value and practicality of testing all residents in long-term care facilities in Ohio following a suggestion by President Trump that "all states should be."

The President made his remarks Monday saying "they should be doing nursing homes — this is a real vulnerability".

While Governor DeWine has made nursing homes a priority in Ohio, he disagrees with the suggestion to test every resident.

"I think it would be unlikely that you would see us be able to test everybody in the nursing home," said DeWine, adding, "Frankly, a lot of people in the medical field would argue that the testing of everybody in that nursing home might not be the best protocol."

Currently, testing is performed when symptoms appear.

Since April 15th, more than 4,000 residents and staff have tested positive and nearly 500 have died.

Long-term care facilities deaths make up about 22 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Ohio, according to state health officials.

The Ohio Health Care Association, that represents long term care facilities, says about 30 to 40 percent of Ohio long-term care residents have been tested so far and agrees that blanket testing is not the best practice.

"It's not really a practical thing," says OHCA President Peter Van Runkle. "If it was possible, if there were sufficient tests that might make sense, but only if you could do it regularly."

Van Runkle says testing is snapshot in time and conditions could change the next day.

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