Governor DeWine made a surprise declaration yesterday that Ohio’s State of Emergency would be ended today and added there would be affects to nursing home, assisted living/congregate living communities relative to visitation. Unfortunately, no guidance was given other than to refer to federal and CDC guidelines for our communities. Since yesterday, today has become a recognized observance of tomorrow’s federal holiday and no formal declaration has been made rescinding the State of Emergency. We are awaiting more information regarding how all of this will impact us. We wanted to share what we do know at this time, which includes the following changes:
- Resident visits will no longer need to be scheduled.
- In room visits will no longer be limited to 2 people at a time.
- Escorting visitors to and from resident apartments will no longer be required.
There are also things that will not change. These things include:
- Visitors will still be required to screen in and out of our buildings, still including taking temperature and answering COVID related questions.
- Masks will still be required in our buildings.
- Guests must travel directly to and from their visit destination.
- Unvaccinated employees will continue to be tested twice per week in all of our communities.
- Employees will continue to follow infection control practices, such as mask wearing and proper hand hygiene. We continue to ask the same of our guests.
- If positive cases occur with residents or staff, visitation guidelines will be reviewed for the affected building.
- If you have any signs/symptoms of any illness, please postpone your visit until symptoms have resolved.
CMS and CDC continue to recommend facilities, residents, and families adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection, including physical distancing. This continues to be the safest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly if either the resident or his/her guest has not been fully vaccinated.
Another update call will go out to MHCO constituents next week once we receive further direction regarding these changes. Thank you for continuing to work with us as we roll with this new information and for your diligence in working with us over the past year to help us curb the spread of COVID-19.
Daren Lee, Chief Operating Officer