Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled Tuesday the formation of the Congregate Care Unified Response Teams that will help test residents and staff in Ohio’s nursing homes, according to the governor’s press release.
Nursing homes across America, including Ohio, have been hotspots for the coronavirus.
“A large number of our deaths in Ohio from COVID-19 have occurred in regard to nursing home patients. Nursing homes contain some of the most vulnerable members of our society,” DeWine said during Tuesday’s press conference.
The Associated Press reported last week that nearly 70 percent of Ohio’s coronavirus deaths came from nursing homes.
To get a better sense of the coronavirus situation in the state’s nursing homes, the Congregate Care Unified Response Teams, which features medically trained Ohio National Guard members, will begin testing on residents and staff within nursing homes this week.
“Nursing facilities have been aggressive regarding testing and managing COVID-19 outbreaks on their own, but this effort will provide them with additional resources,” the governor said. “As we continue to ramp up our testing in Ohio, we must deploy our resources in a way that will save the most lives.”
According to DeWine’s press release, the response teams will test people in a two-phase plan:
- All staff in all Ohio nursing facilities will be tested to help nursing home administrators gauge the status of the virus in their facilities and help isolate the virus to stop it from infecting their community.
- Testing will be conducted in facilities where residents or workers have confirmed or assumed positive cases. Testing will be conducted on all staff, and the testing of residents will be based on a clinically-driven strategy that targets those who have likely been exposed to COVID-19. By testing residents based on their potential interaction with a confirmed COVID-19 case, the nursing facility will be better equipped to isolate the virus and contain spread within the facility.
As of Wednesday, Ohio has 31,191 cases and 1,842 deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected] Follow Zachery on Twitter @zacheryschmidt2.