During Tuesday afternoon’s regular coronavirus (COVID-19) press conference updates, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine stated more work needs to be done regarding confirmed cases being reported in nursing homes.

On May 27, Gov. DeWine announced a new formation of Congregate Care Unified Response Teams in response to testing residents along with staff members at nursing homes across the state.

During his statements, DeWine covered how nursing facilities have been aggressive regarding testing while also managing COVID-19 outbreaks. However, the implementation of the new response teams will provide local facilities with additional resources.

Commencing this week, Congregate Care Unified Response Teams will start to test residents and staff in nursing homes while covering two “parallel paths,” according to the Statehouse in Columbus. Testing will also include medically trained members of the Ohio National Guard.

Every staff member in nursing facilities will be tested to assist facility administrators to assess the status of COVID-19 in their respective facilities. Also, members will be tested to help isolate the virus to stop it from infecting more in the community.

Testing is set to be conducted inside facilities where residents or workers have had confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19. Testing will also be done on all staff, and the procedure for testing residents will be based on a clinical strategy which will target those who have likely been exposed to the illness.

By testing residents using contact tracing and identifying potential cases of interactions, nursing facilities will be better equipped to isolate the virus and contain spread within the facility.

Lastly, the Congregate Care Unified Response Teams will start its testing of all residents and staff members in the state’s eight developmental centers in an attempt to hinder spread of COVID-19 in longterm congregate care settings.

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Aleksei Pavloff is a reporter for the Perry County Tribune

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