COVID-19 cases have been reported in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and multiple U.S. territories; many having wide-spread community transmission. Given the high risk of spread once COVID-19 enters a Long-term Care Facility (LTCF), facilities must act immediately to protect residents, families, and staff from serious illness, complications, and death. Strategies include recommendations to:
- Keep COVID-19 from entering your facility
- Identify infections early
- Prevent spread of COVID-19
- Assess supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and initiate measures to optimize current supply
- Identify and manage severe illness
Testing in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes residents are among the most vulnerable populations for COVID-19 and comprise a high percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio. To protect these residents and the staff who take care of them, the presence of COVID-19 in nursing home facilities must be identified so that measures can be put into place to isolate the virus and contain its spread.
To that end, Ohio’s Congregate Care Unified Response Team (CCURT) has developed an approach for testing these residents and staff guided by the following principles:
- Protect Ohioans in communities and congregate facilities, including prioritization for nursing home facilities.
- Use the best available clinical information and most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, including testing prioritization within minority communities.
- Empower local communities with resources to mitigate and control outbreaks.
- Leverage the private sector for resources and partnerships.
Ohio’s Plan for Nursing Home Testing commencing June 2
- Webinar Recording
- Webinar Presentation Slides
- Testing in Nursing Homes Fact Sheet
- Testing in Nursing Homes FAQ
- Zone and Region Map
- CCURT Bridge Team Guidance and Information
- Nursing Facility Transfer Protocol
- Guidelines for Testing of Nursing Home Residents and Staff
- Contingency and Crisis Facility Staffing Guidance
For additional information click here.
Ohio Department of Health Director's Order For Testing Nursing Home Facilities
Effective May 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., each nursing home licensed by ODH or certified by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) or by the Ohio Department of Medicaid, shall cooperate with the COVID-19 testing for residents and staff as required by ODH. This includes, but is not limited to, strategic testing of residents in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within a facility and a community.
Outdoor Nursing Home Visitation
On June 29, 2020, Governor DeWine announced that "Today, I am announcing that beginning July 20th, nursing homes are permitted to begin outdoor visitation, so long as all safety standards are met. We are confident that our approach provides each facility the flexibility needed to assess their readiness to safely facilitate outdoor visitation -- and to do so in a transparent way that keeps residents and families informed. Should you have questions about visiting your loved ones, you can always contact the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, an office within the @OhioDeptOfAging at 1-800-282-1206."
- Case status in community
- Case status in nursing home
- Staffing levels
- Access to adequate testing for residents/staff
- Personal protective equipment supplies
- Hospital capacity
Ohio Department of Health Director's Third Amended Order to Limit Access to Ohio Nursing Homes and Similar Care Facilities, With Exceptions
Effective June 8, 2020, Residential Care Facilities (RCFs), Intermediate Care facilities, and Intermediate Care facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IIDs) may permit residents to have visitors in outdoor settings in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the order.
This order allows properly prepared assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities to begin to allow outdoor visitation on June 8. The lifted restrictions do not yet apply to nursing homes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Long-Term Care Guidance
- Preparing for COVID-19: Long-term Care Facilities, Nursing Homes
- Key Strategies to Prepare for COVID-19 in Long-term Care Facilities (LTCFs)
- Responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nursing Homes
- Considerations When Preparing for COVID-19 in Assisted Living Facilities
Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Information for Long-Term Care Facilities
- Checklist for Long-Term Care Facilities Protecting Against COVID-19 (04/13/2020)
- Decontaminating Facepiece Respirators
- Emergency Preparedness in Long-Term Care Facilities
- Health Care Provider Resources Webpage
- Responsible ReStartOhio: A Guide To Health Care
- Responsible ReStartOhio: Health Care Webinar
ODH Director's Orders Concerning Long-Term Care Facilities
- ODH Director's Order to Limit Access to Ohio's Nursing Homes and Similar Facilities_Amended (03/17/2020)
- Joint Director's Order to Limit Access to Ohio's Nursing Homes and Similar Facilities (03/14/2020)
Management of Visitors
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Preparedness Checklist for Nursing Homes and other Long-Term Care Settings (CDC 4/18/20)
- Infection Control Guidance for Health Care Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Infection Control: Transmission Based Precautions
- Preparing for COVID-19: Long-Term Care Facilities, Nursing Homes (PDF)