CEDARVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — Governor Mike DeWine announced two plans intended to help nursing homes and assisted living facilities fight the coronavirus during Thursday’s briefing.

This first plan was launched Thursday morning — the COVID-19 Vaccine Maintenance Program is intended to help these facilities host vaccine clinics for residents and staff each month, if the need is there. The program will ensure that existing and new residents and staff can be inoculated against COVID-19.

The second announcement was that DeWine had assembled a team of doctors and nurses set on developing a plan for safe nursing home visitations amid a pandemic. The governor said the some of the members include experts in infectious disease control, skilled nursing and others from long-term care settings.

Ohio’s existing visitation order does allow compassionate care visits. Examples of compassionate care situations could include:

  • A resident who was living with their family before recently being admitted to a home, is struggling with the change in environment and lack of physical family support
  • A resident who needs cueing and encouragement with eating or drinking, previously provided by family or caregiver(s), is experiencing weight loss or dehydration
  • A resident, who used to talk and interact with others, is experiencing emotional distress, seldom speaking, or crying more frequently

The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman is available to assist citizens with questions about compassionate care visits. The office can be reached at OhioOmbudsman@age.ohio.gov or 1-800-282-1206