ODH amends orders

New orders are for group facilities

By Jacob Clary - [email protected]

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Thursday that Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Stephanie McCloud announced a second amended director’s order focusing on adult day support services and vocational habitation services.

According to the order:

* Group sizes should not exceed 12 people, not including employees or staff assisting them. Groups also must follow social distancing requirements.

* Employees must always wear facial coverings when delivering adult day support or vocational habilitation services. People receiving these services must also wear masks unless there is an exception for medical, functional or practical reasons.

* People should keep a six-foot distance from others, and the distance should be marked with signage, tape or other means. People must also wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and much as possible or with hand sanitizer. The facilities must also have hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for both employees and individuals. High-touch surfaces also need to be regularly cleaned and shaking hands should not occur.

* All individuals and employees must be screened for COVID-19 daily before entering the facility using a system monitoring log.

* Facilities should also have a daily log which keeps track of the attendance of each person including telephone number and address. It should be maintained for at least six months and made available at the request.

* Facilities should use cohorting to minimize disease spread risks as well as adverse health outcomes. They should determine cohorts, not more than 12 people, and assign the same staff to the cohort throughout the day. Cohorting is “the practice of gathering participants as a group that will eat and participate in activities and services together.”

* Facilities should follow all Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on infection prevention and control, as well as maintain an adequate inventory of PPE, supplies and equipment in the facility..

* Should an individual or staff show symptoms of COVID-19or test positive, they should immediately isolate and seek medical care. There should be deep sanitation of the facility after there is an indication that an individual or staff member tests positive.

DeWine also said that Ohio’s COVID-19 case rate statewide is 143.8 cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days. When the state reaches 50 cases per 100,000 for two weeks, all the health orders will be lifted.

He also gave an update on nursing homes, which reported 70 new COVID-19 cases this week compared to 157 new cases last week and 2,832 in the peak of December.

“In addition to wearing masks, social distancing, and cleaning, there is no doubt of the significant impact vaccination is having on protecting nursing home residents and preventing severe illness and death among those most targeted by the virus,” DeWine said.

He said that 93 percent of nursing homes and 77 percent of assisted living facilities in the state signed up for additional vaccines for new staff and new residents through the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Maintenance Program. For the 243 facilities that have not requested additional vaccines, DeWine urged them to alert the state on their process to offer the vaccine by filling a survey at aging.ohio.gov/COVIDvaccine.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

New orders are for group facilities

By Jacob Clary

[email protected]