While Jennings has hosted outdoor visits since mid-summer, we know that the warm days are quickly fading in Northeast Ohio. On September 24, we are pleased to share that Ohio’s leadership announced a plan to enable families to have limited indoor visits with residents in assisted living and nursing home residences. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy recognized how difficult it has been for families and residents as well as staff members like those at Jennings who know the importance of these relationships. They outlined some of the criteria that will be part of the new visit guidelines that are planned to begin October 12, 2020.
Director McElroy emphasized to remember that when you enter, you are entering someone’s home. Individuals may unknowingly be carrying the virus. She stressed that the new guidelines do not mean that we can be less cautious, especially with the onset of flu season. Instead, it is imperative to continue wellness such as handwashing, limiting visit times, staying away if an individual is ill or has symptoms.
Per the director’s guidance, there are factors that will contribute to each residence’s ability to host visits:
- Number of COVID-19 cases in the greater community
- Number of COVID-19 cases for the organization
- Organizational staffing levels to adequately provide care and schedule visits
- Access to adequate testing
- Availability of necessary personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Hospital capacity near the residence
Each Jennings residence will also continue to follow the state and federal guidelines pertaining to visiting. So far, we know from Director McElroy’s part in the press conference that we must:
- continue to limit entry into the residence
- screen each individual who enters the residence
- keep a log of all visitors
- schedule all visits in advance
- dedicate a space to host visits and maintain safe distance
- limit the visits to a maximum of 30 minutes
- constrain the visits to two visitors per resident per visit
- assure that each individual is wearing a face covering
Jennings will be adjusting our visiting plans to comply with these new guidelines, in order to provide a written and transparent plan as well as provide continued reporting of our information to Ohio Department of Aging. We look forward to family members continuing to enjoy visits with their loved ones!