Restrictions eased on nursing home visits


Staff Report



COLUMBUS, Ohio — With the signing of a series of health orders on Tuesday, Ohio eased restrictions which had limited visitations at nursing home and assisted living facilities in the state.

Governor Mike DeWine announced four amended health orders signed by Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud.

Under the amended orders, general visitation requirements for nursing homes and assisted living facilities remain the same, including the requirement that visitors schedule appointments in advance, are screened at the door, and wear masks.

Changes to the 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.

Thirty minutes should serve as the minimum amount of time for a visit. Previously, 30 minutes was the maximum time to visit.

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

In addition, the order updates 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.

The orders include: Director’s Amended Order to Permit Access to Ohio’s Nursing Homes, with Exceptions; Director’s Amended Order to Permit Access to Ohio’s Residential Care Facilities, with Exceptions; Director’s Amended Order for the Testing of the Residents and Staff of all Residential Care Facilities; Director’s Amended Order for the Testing of the Residents and Staff of all Nursing Homes.

Information provided by the office of Governor Mike DeWine.

Staff Report