nursing homes

Three quarters of Ohio’s confirmed COVID-19 deaths are from its nursing homes. Nationwide, more than 40% of coronavirus deaths are linked to long term care facilities. The nation’s nursing homes lobbying group has written to Ohio’s Mike DeWine and other governors, warning that without action now there will be more outbreaks, especially if visitors are allowed back in to see loved ones after months away.

Nearly three quarters of all confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Ohio have been in nursing homes. Ohio National Guard personnel have been helping with testing in long term care facilities, but the funding for them to continue that and other pandemic related missions runs out in a month.

Gov. Mike DeWine at his daily coronavirus press conference on Sunday, March 23, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine announced that Ohio's nursing homes will be allowed to have outdoor visitors again, beginning July 20. It will be the first time in four months that many long-term care residents will be able to see family members in person.

One of the hardest things during this pandemic — for kids and adult children — has been staying away from their parents and grandparents.

People 65 years and older are at higher risk for getting a severe case of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And about 80% of deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19 have been in people older than 65.

Elderly person in a nursing home.
Sabine van Erp / Pixabay

As Gov. Mike DeWine loosens visitation rules at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, where the coronavirus pandemic has hit hardest, mental health professionals are counseling residents to help ease their stress.

Some of Ohio's long-term care facilities began outdoor visitation Monday.

After nearly three months, residents in assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities can now visit with their family members outdoors.

“This is such a sweet day, in my mind,” said Nancy Sutula, Vice President of Residential Services at Menorah Park in Beachwood. “Residents are finally being able to physically see their family members and spend some quality time with them.”

Coronavirus In Ohio: Families Weigh Risks Of Sending Loved Ones To Nursing Homes

May 29, 2020
A sign at the Mill Run nursing home in Hilliard.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

In early March, just as Ohioans were learning about the first cases of novel coronavirus in the state, Anna Bondar’s grandfather fell at his Cleveland home. Luckily, the 92-year old, who lives with dementia, wasn’t injured badly.

The tight-knit family started to discuss the possibility of a nursing home, though they had serious reservations.

Gov. Mike DeWine is beginning to loosen restrictions on assisted living facilities and homes for the developmentally disabled.

Starting June 8, residents at those two types of long-term care facilities can meet with visitors outdoors, the governor announced Thursday.

Rebecca Roth reviews applications for election ballots at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss President Trump's inaccurate claim that mail-in ballots are ripe for fraud. Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida, joins the show.

The Ohio National Guard will deploy across the state beginning this week to help expand COVID-19 testing at Ohio’s 960 nursing homes. Gov. Mike DeWine announced the effort during his regular coronavirus briefing.

When President Trump took office in 2017, his team stopped work on new federal regulations that would have forced the health care industry to prepare for an airborne infectious disease pandemic such as COVID-19. That decision is documented in federal records reviewed by NPR.

In this March 24, 2020, file photo, members of The Ohio National Guard assist in repackaging emergency food boxes for food distribution at the Cleveland Food Bank in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Ohio National Guard members have been performing a variety of duties during the COVID19 pandemic. But the roles of members are changing a bit as time progresses.

More than three quarters of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Ohio have come from nursing homes. This week’s total is a 30% increase from a week ago.

A sign at the Mill Run nursing home in Hilliard.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

Ohio has one of the largest populations of nursing homes residents in the country. The cost to test residents and staff for the coronavirus is one of the highest in the nation as well: $25 million.

There have been at least 674 deaths from coronavirus at nursing homes in Ohio, which is 43% of the state’s confirmed COVID-19 deaths. After saying for weeks that nursing home residents who have symptoms are tested but limitations prevented mass testing, there’s a plan for more tests in long-term care facilities.

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