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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– The state of Ohio will begin allowing indoor visits at nursing homes and assisted living facilities on Oct. 12.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy made the announcement during a coronavirus news conference on Thursday. Outdoor visits started at assisted living facilities on June 8 and nursing homes on July 20. But with temperatures getting colder, the state is adjusting visitation plans.

Facilities will have to determine their readiness, number of cases, staffing levels, access to testing, and personal protective supplies before allowing visits. They will also have to keep a log of visitors.

The visits will be kept to designated areas with a 30-minute maximum. They also must be scheduled in advance. All visitors will be required to wear a mask.

“It is important for everyone to know that indoor visitation does not signal we can be less cautious. What it means is that each of us, residents, families and staff need to be even more vigilant in practicing the very basic, yet very critical practices that limit the spread of this virus,” McElroy said.

She emphasized hand washing, wearing a mask, keeping distance and limiting visit time. She put high importance on staying home if you have been exposed or feel ill.

“Remember, when you enter one of these facilities, you’re entering someone’s home,” McElroy said. “You’re not only walking into the home of your loved one, but into the home of their friends and others.”

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