Order issued limiting number of visitors to nursing homes and assisted living facilities


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Gov. Mike DeWine has issued an order for new rules at nursing homes across the state amid the novel coronavirus concerns. He made the announcements during an afternoon press conference on Wednesday. 

According to the governor, nursing homes in Ohio are being limited to one visitor per resident per day. There needs to be a single point of entry and each visitor needs to be screened for temperature and other illnesses. Visitor logs also need to be kept.

This is the most infirmed folks we have on campus and we want to keep them very very safe and healthy,” said Leslie Belfance, Executive Director at Ohio Living’s Westminster-Thurber campus. 

She understands limiting visitors could be difficult for some. 

“It’s sad because for many of our nursing home residents in particular, the joy they get from seeing their grandchildren and their kids and so forth, it’s going to be limited and that’s hard,” she said. “But in the end of it all I think taking the steps and especially the protocol we’ve put in place are essential for keeping people safe.”

She says some protocols relating to the governor’s order were already in place prior to Wednesday.

“Our folks are the most frail in the community,” she said. “So we have to make sure we’re putting in protocols and doing everything we can to keep them safe.” 

Visitors can only be there for a limited amount of time as well. Temperatures are being taken and logs are being kept at the Ohio Living independent living facilities too. 

“I feel they’re important because they’re all about protecting us,” said Tina Butler, an independent living resident of five years. ““We want to be safe and healthy at the end of it.” 

The campus is also preparing for ‘virtual visits,’ should all in person visits be prohibited. 

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