Outdoor nursing home visits resume this month

Governor Mike DeWine announced that beginning July 20, nursing homes are permitted to begin outdoor visitation as long as all safety standards are met.

When assessing their readiness to permit outdoor visitation, state officials say nursing homes should consider:

• Case status in the surrounding community

• Case status in the nursing home

• Staffing levels

• Access to adequate testing for residents and staff

• Personal protective equipment supplies

• Local hospital capacity

The decision to move forward with outdoor visitation considered requests from families and residents and the impact on the quality of life that a prolonged loss of connection can have on an individual. The plan was made in consultation with advocates and providers in the aging and development disabilities communities. Guidelines for visitation were jointly developed by the Academy for Senior Health Sciences, Leading Age Ohio, the Ohio Assisted Living Association, the Ohio Health Care Association, and the Ohio Medical Directors Association.

“We are confident that our approach provides each facility the flexibility needed to assess their readiness to safely facilitate outdoor visitation and to do so in a transparent way that keeps residents and families informed,” said Governor DeWine.

The order and related guidance will be made available at coronavirus.ohio.gov. Questions may also be directed to the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, an office within the Ohio Department of Aging, at 1-800-282-1206.