DeWine signs health order on COVID-19 testing at residential care facilities

Ohio

FILE – In this July 23, 2020 file photo, health care workers prepare a COVID-19 test sample before a person self-administered a test at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing center at Miami-Dade County Auditorium in Miami. Racial disparities in the the U.S. coronavirus epidemic extend to children, according to two sobering government reports released Friday, Aug. 7. One of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports looked at hospitalizations of children with COVID-19. Hispanic children were hospitalized at a rate eight times higher than white kids, and Black children were hospitalized at a rate five times higher, it found.(David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has signed the order from Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health regarding testing for residents and staff at all Ohio residential care facilities.

The Governor announced the new testing protocols in his news conference Thursday.

The order will take effect August 24 at 12:01 a.m. It requires all residential care facilities in Ohio to cooperate with COVID-19 testing for residents and staff as required by the State of Ohio and includes the following provisions:

  1. Effective 12:01 a.m. August 24, 2020, each residential care facility licensed by OOH shall cooperate with COVID-19 testing for residents and staff as required by the State. In order to protect the health and safety of residents and staff, the State has determined this testing shall include, but is not limited to, staff testing and strategic testing of residents in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within a facility and a community.
  2. Each residential care facility shall require its staff to be tested in accordance with state-issued guidelines.
  3. Testing shall be conducted in accordance with State issued guidelines. Such guidelines will consider the individual circumstances of residents. The residential care facility shall assist in creating a testing plan for residents and staff.
  4. Residential care facilities may be required to provide additional information as necessary to address the health of its residents and staff related to COVID-19.
  5. The State will provide guidance to mitigate facility staffing shortages in the event staff test positive for COVID-19 and are unable to work, consistent with CDC guidance.
  6. Test results shall be repo1ted in accordance with the Journal Entry of March 14, 2020, “Amended Reporting Requirements for 2019 – Novel Coronavirus Under Ohio Revised Code 3701.14 and 3701.23.”
  7. This Order takes into consideration and is intended to be consistent with resident rights in R.C. 3721.13.
  8. To the extent possible, residential care facilities are encouraged to use the Ohio Department of Aging’s comprehensive testing program that supports COVID-19 testing in residential care facilities.
  9. This action is taken to protect residential care facility residents and staff during this unprecedented pandemic. This Order shall be effective at 12:01 a.m. August 24, 2020 and shall remain in full force and effect until the State of Emergency declared by the Governor no longer exists, or the Director of the Ohio Department of Health rescinds or modifies this Order at a sooner time and date.

The order will remain in effect until the State of Emergency declared by the Governor no longer exists, or the Director of the Ohio Department of Health rescinds or modifies this order.

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