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Health Director Signs Amended Orders on Visitation with Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facility Residents

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor DeWine announced today that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud has signed the following orders:

General visitation requirements for nursing homes and assisted living facilities remain the same, including the requirement that visitors schedule appointments in advance, are screened at the door, and wear masks. Changes to the orders include: 

  • Ohio is requiring that visitation be permitted whenever safety protocols can be met. Previously, visitation was permitted, not required.
  • Vaccinated residents may have physical touch with their visitor while wearing a mask. Previously, touch was discouraged.
  • Visits may occur in a resident’s private room, as opposed to the previous requirement of a separate visitation area.
  • 30 minutes should serve as the minimum amount of time for a visit. Previously, 30 minutes was the maximum time to visit.

The order also expands the circumstances in which compassionate care visits should be granted.

In addition, the order updates nursing home and assisted living testing requirements to require the facilities to test vaccinated staff once per week and unvaccinated staff twice per week. The previous order made no distinction between vaccinated or unvaccinated staff.