COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities and assisted living facilities can begin allowing outdoor visits on June 8. The new visitation rules do not apply to nursing homes.
The state began limiting visitors to these facilities in March because of the coronavirus threat to aging population.
“We now have gone on several months, and we know it’s becoming more and more difficult for people who have been away from their relatives. We know this has caused a great deal of heartache inside these facilities,” DeWine said on Thursday.
He acknowledged the difficulty in keeping coronavirus out of congregate living settings, and the continued strain on the people involved. DeWine said they considered the impact on quality of life, requests from families and residents, and consultation with advocates in the decision to move forward with outdoor visitation.
Mandatory protocols for these outdoor visits including screening for temperatures and symptoms. Facilities must schedule times for visitation, and determine policies for social distancing and masks. The governor said it is up to each location to determine how to implement visitation in a way they works for them.
DeWine said allowing visitors will be rolled out in stages and he will continue to monitor the COVID-19 numbers.