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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– There are new federal guidelines for visits at nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Aging Director spoke about the changes Ursel McElroy during a news conference on Thursday.

“They clearly state that facilities should always allow responsible indoor visitation for all residents, regardless of vaccination status of the resident or of the visitor,” DeWine said. “These new regulations just issued by the federal government are certainly a step closer to return to the way things used to be.”

Compassionate care visits should always be allowed, according to the guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

There are exceptions:

  • Unvaccinated residents, if the COVID-19 county positivity rate is greater than 10 percent and less than 70 percent of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated;
  • Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met the criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions; or
  • Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.

If you have difficulty scheduling a visit with a loved one at a nursing home, contact the Officer of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman for Ohio at or 1-800-282-1206.