CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - If you have a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility you’ll be able to visit them once again. Ohio is now allowing indoor visitation beginning Monday, if you have an appointment.
Indoor visits have been off-limits since the pandemic began in March.
However, keep in mind all visitors and personnel must be screened for COVID-19 each time they enter a facility.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says, “I think it’s good news. I think people will be happy with it, and it’s being done in a very responsible way.”
Families can finally be reunited inside the facilities. It was earlier this summer when Ohio’s Governor allowed outdoor visitation. But Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy warns that everyone still needs to remain vigilante, “Indoor visitation does not signal that we can be less cautious.”
Re-opening of nursing homes and care facilities comes with strict guidelines: Visitors must make an appointment for each visit, and only two people can visit one resident in a nursing home for 30-minutes and it must be in a designated visitation area. Also, the facility has to be adequately staffed. Testing must be available for residents and workers and there must be enough PPE for the staff and visitors. '"The facilities will have to develop a written and transparent plan with these new requirements, so that families and residents are fully informed and have an appreciation of what to expect," McElroy said.
Nursing homes must also maintain a daily log of anyone who enters the building and regularly report to the states' coronavirus website about visitation hours. “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.
Residents will finally be allowed to eat together again as long as they practice social distancing, and they can participate in group activities such as Bingo, movies, crafts and book clubs as long as they follow the safety measures put in place.