Coronavirus: ODH director signs off on updated nursing home, assisted-living center visitation guidelines

Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud updated multiple coronavirus public health orders on nursing home and assisted-living center visitations.

Gov. Mike DeWine discussed the updated during a Monday press conference, noting that facilities are now required to resume visits if they meet Ohio’s safety criteria.

ExploreDeWine shares updated COVID visitation restrictions at nursing homes, assisted-living centers

Under the new guidelines visits should last at least 30 minutes and vaccinated residents can hug or have physical contact with visitors while wearing a mask.

Residents can also have visitations in their private rooms instead of a set visitation area.

The updated orders also extended compassionate care visits to include the following:

  • A resident who was living with family recently before being admitted to a nursing and who is struggling with the change in environment and lack of physical family support
  • A resident grieving after a friend or family member died
  • A resident who needs cueing and encouragement with eating or drinking that was previously provided by family or a caregiver and is losing weight or is dehydrated
  • A resident who used to talk and interact with other and is experiencing emotional distress, seldom speaking or crying more
  • A resident who was been re-admitted to the facility after an acute care admission to the hospital
  • A resident who has a new order for an anti-psychotic, anti-depressant or an appetite stimulant
  • A resident whose dementia has progressed
  • A resident who is no longer responding to loved ones during virtual visits
  • When family members notice a change in the resident’s appearance, grooming or cognition during window or virtual visits
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Facilities are also required to test vaccinated staff once a week and unvaccinated staff twice a week.

The updated orders kept previous visitation requirements, such as screening guests for COVID, keeping a visitor log book and requiring guests to wear masks.

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