COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Outdoor visitation at certain facilities across the state can begin starting June 8, according to an announcement from Gov. Mike DeWine Thursday.
The governor said outdoor visitations at intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities and at assisted living facilities can begin next week if those facilities are properly prepared.
Those preparations include facilities formulating a policy to screen individuals and visitors for fevers, schedule and set time limits for visits, social distancing, face coverings, and educating family and friends about the spread of the virus. Facilities can determine for themselves how best to allow outdoor visitation, DeWine said.
“We now have gone on several months and we know that it’s becoming more and more difficult for people,” he said. “They’ve been away from their relatives. We know this has caused a great deal of heartache inside these facilities with the individuals who are the patients, who are the residents, but we also know it causes a lot of heartache for individuals who want to come in and visit them.”
DeWine said the visitation parameters are set as they are because of how COVID-19 is spread to those kinds of facilities, which is from people coming in from the outside.
These visitations are the first stage of allowing visitation, according to the governor, and the results of the visitation policy is going to be closely monitored for any spike in COVID-19 cases.
The decision to allow outdoor visitation is the result of several things, including the impact on the quality of life a prolonged loss of connection can have on people, requests from families and residents, and consultation with providers.
The National Guard will begin going into nursing homes starting Monday to conduct testing on facility employees.
The announcement does not include nursing homes at this time.