Jared M. Bruce

Mandatory COVID-19 Testing for Ohio Nursing Homes

June 4, 2020Legal Alerts

On May 26, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the formation of new Congregate Care Unified Response Teams to test residents and staff members in Ohio's nursing homes. Ohio Department of Health (“ODH”) Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, subsequently issued a Director’s Order on May 27, 2020 requiring all nursing homes to cooperate with this testing.

"Nursing facilities have been aggressive regarding testing and managing COVID-19 outbreaks on their own, but this effort will provide them with additional resources," said Governor DeWine. "As we continue to ramp up our testing in Ohio, we must deploy our resources in a way that will save the most lives."

Last week, the Congregate Care Unified Response Teams, which will include medically trained members of the Ohio National Guard, began testing residents and staff within nursing homes. ODH will require all staff in all Ohio nursing facilities to 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 communities. Additionally, testing will be conducted in facilities where residents or workers have confirmed or assumed positive cases of COVID-19. Testing will be conducted on all staff in nursing homes that have positive cases of COVID-19, and the testing of residents will be based on a clinically driven strategy that targets those who have likely been exposed to COVID-19. According to ODH, by testing residents based on their potential interaction with a confirmed COVID-19 case, nursing facilities will be better equipped to isolate the virus and contain spread within facilities.

The ODH Director Order is available here.

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 testing requirements, please contact your Dinsmore Health Care attorney.