COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy to announce indoor visitations will be allowed at assisted living facilities and nursing homes.  

“Throughout the pandemic, older Ohioans have certainly been hard hit,” said DeWine. “Seniors who live in a congregate setting are susceptible to the virus.” 

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Ohio were closed early on during the pandemic. But DeWine noted that outdoor visits have been allowed at assisted living facilities since June, and at nursing homes since July. 

However, with cold weather soon arriving, DeWine said it was time for indoor visits to once again be allowed. Starting Oct. 12, visits will be allowed under certain circumstances, with them scheduled in advance, in an approved area and for a maximum of 30 minutes.

McElroy said the allowance for indoor visitations doesn’t mean we can be less cautious, however.  

“Residents, family and staff need to be more vigilant in practicing the very basic but critical practices that limit the spread of this virus,” said McElroy. 

She says mask, washing homes, keeping social distance, and most of all staying home if you are feeling ill.  

“Remember, when you enter one of these facilities, you are entering someone’s home,” said McElroy.

Rules will be relaxed, too, at intermediate care facilities run by the state department of developmental disabilities.