WYSO

Ohio National Guard Will Bring Testing To Nursing Homes

May 20, 2020
Originally published on May 19, 2020 11:23 pm

There have been at least 674 deaths from coronavirus at nursing homes in Ohio, which is 43% of the state’s confirmed COVID-19 deaths. After saying for weeks that nursing home residents who have symptoms are tested but limitations prevented mass testing, there’s a plan for more tests in long-term care facilities.

When asked last week if Ohio would test all nursing home residents and staff, as suggested by President Trump, Gov. Mike DeWine had said he thought "it would be unlikely that you would see us be able to test everybody in the nursing home".

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton had said Monday there would be a team doing tests in all nursing homes.

And then on Tuesday, DeWine said a group of at least 10 Ohio National Guard units is being assembled by Adjutant General Major General John Harris Jr. to do the testing.

“We’re going to push the testing as hard as we can in these nursing homes, and I think in the next seven days, we’re going to be able to report to you a lot more progress in that area," DeWine said.

There have been nearly 6,000 positive tests in Ohio’s nursing homes, and the lobbying group representing them has asked for mass testing.

The first cases of COVID-19 in the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky recently prompted mass testing there and the home in Georgetown in southwest Ohio.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.