With nursing homes possessing the potential to become coronavirus (COVID-19) hotspots, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has asked Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton to issue an order requiring the state's long-term care facilities to notify residents and families within 24 hours of a resident or staff member becoming infected with the virus.
While the Ohio Department of Health had previously strongly encouraged facilities to make such notifications, they will now be required to do so. Also, Ohio will provide a list of long-term care facilities where an associated individual has tested positive on its website.
"When a nursing home has an outbreak, there is a lot of stigma and fear," Acton said on Monday. "We want to reach out to these facilities and give them our help because they need us now more than ever."
Over the weekend, the Wayne County Health Department confirmed a cluster of coronavirus cases at a local nursing home that included 20 infections and five deaths.
As of Monday, Ohio has had 6,975 confirmed coronavirus cases, 2,033 of which have resulted in hospitalization, 613 ICU admissions and 274 deaths. Dating back to the discovery of the state's first positive coronavirus case on March 9, DeWine has taken several measures to encourage physical distancing, including a stay-at-home order that is currently in place until at least May 1.