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

Gov. Mike DeWine discussed updates to nursing home and assisted-living visitation guidelines in Ohio, including testing staff for coronavirus, setting minimum time limits and expanding compassionate care visits.

While general visitation requirements — such as screening guests for COVID, keeping a visitor log book and requiring guests to wear masks — will remain the same, facilities will now be required to offer visitations once the meet Ohio’s safety criteria. Previously nursing homes and assisted-living facilities were permitted to resume visitation if they met the state’s standards.

ExploreOhio families await nursing home visiting rule changes with signs of hope

The length of visits will also be increased to at least 30 minutes. Before, 30 minutes was the maximum visit allowed.

Vaccinated residents will be able to hug and have physical contact with visitors while wearing a mask and can have visitations in their private rooms again.

Facilities are also being asked to test vaccinated staff once a week and unvaccinated staff twice a week.

“We must continue regularly testing for the virus,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “It’s just good science, and it will help us identify cases early and prevent the spread. Further, if COVID is controlled, that means less disruption to visitation.”

ExploreOhio surpasses 1 million total cases of coronavirus

Ohio is also expanding the number of circumstances qualifying for a compassion care visit.

If a facility has an outbreak of COVID or experiences other certain circumstances, the nursing home or assisted-living facility may have to restrict visitation.

Nursing homes are also required to follow Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulations.

About the Author