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03/12/2020

Today’s COVID-19 Report: Nursing Homes Limit Visitation, DeWine Closes K12

Today’s COVID-19 Report:

Nursing Homes Limit Visitation, DeWine Closes K-12

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Thursday, March 12, 2020 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q&A Document Will Include Isolation, Visitation, PPE, and More

LeadingAge Ohio is developing a Q&A document for members to use that includes the most-frequent inquiries we are receiving from members. Due to the Governor’s announcement today that the Administration would further restrict nursing home visitation, the document will be updated in the next 24 hours to reflect new developments and be distributed to members. 

Communicating with Residents and Families

LeadingAge Ohio members have wide variation in how they are responding to the pandemic, from social media posts to emails to families. LeadingAge Ohio strongly encourages members who have not already done so to broadcast the new visitor restrictions widely to ensure your wider community is informed. The better and the earlier you communicate, the sooner your staff will be able to focus on the most important issue at hand, which is the health and safety of residents.

LeadingAge Ohio has developed a graphic image for social media and template language regarding the visitation policy:

Attention All Visitors: The priority of [ORGANIZATION] is the health and wellness of individuals we serve and the staff who serves them.  As a result, [ORGANIZATION] is adhering to guidance from the DeWine Administration and state and federal health authority guidance on visitor restrictions. Should a visitor be permitted, each must complete a basic health screening, including a temperature check, and we will keep a log of all visitors who enter our community. Thank you for your partnership in making the safety of our residents the first priority. Please direct all questions on these temporary safety measures to [STAFF MEMBER CONTACT].

COVID-19 Visitor Graphic

DeWine Closes Schools, Will Restrict Nursing Home Visitation Further

In a press conference today, Governor DeWine announced that a fifth case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Trumbull County. He shared that medical experts advise that, at this point, whatever the level of infection is in the population currently, it will double in six days.

DeWine shared that the response from nursing homes to his order yesterday is that nursing homes need the ability to care for their staff and residents with their intimate knowledge of the appropriate level of restrictions.  As a result, more restrictions, not less, are needed.  Governor DeWine noted that the Administration would be issuing guidance in the coming days stopping visitation completely. Lieutenant Governor John Husted shared that the Administration is asking the federal government to cease survey activities as the survey process involves regulators moving from one long-term care facility to another.

The Governor ordered all K-12 schools to be closed as of end-of-day Monday, March 16, for a period to last three weeks, in an “extended spring break”, in order to reduce the likelihood of transmission among the population. LeadingAge Ohio members will need to work closely with health professionals to ensure adequate staffing is managed through the challenges of school closure.

The Governor stressed that all of the actions taken are temporary, and that we will, at a future date, get “back to normal.”

“We must treat this as it is—a crisis. A crisis like we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.”

Ban on Mass Gatherings

As previewed in yesterday's press conference, Dr. Acton today signed an order banning any gathering of over 100 people, including sporting event spectating, festivals, meetings, and other events. The order does not apply to weddings, funerals, or religious gatherings, nor large employers, mass transit or retailers where individuals are customarily at arm’s length from one another.

LeadingAge Ohio Postpones All Events in March

As of today, all LeadingAge Ohio events in the month of March are officially postponed. Guidance will be issued regarding rescheduling and later events in the coming days. 

Testing Kits

During the press conference, Director of Health Amy Acton shared that they now have more testing kits available, allowing an additional 1,200 individuals to be tested. 

Questions

Please send all questions to COVID19@leadingageohio.org.

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Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.