COLUMBUS — As part of the state’s ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Health are encouraging long-term care facilities to heed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to prevent the spread of germs.
While there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio, “we must be prepared for this possibility and take steps to prevent the spread of the disease, including in long-term care facilities,” said a letter sent this week to facility administrators.
“Exercising good hand-washing, cough etiquette and other preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of contracting any respiratory illness,” ODH Director Amy Acton said in a news release. “COVID-19 symptoms, which generally appear two to 14 days after exposure, include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Most people who become sick do not require hospitalization, but older adults, people with chronic health conditions and people with compromised immune systems are more likely to require more advanced care.”
“Being mindful of these precautions can protect older Ohioans and our most vulnerable residents from COVID-19,” said ODA Director Ursel J. McElroy.
CDC’s guidance recommends posting signs inside long-term care facilities providing instruction on preventing the spread of germs. ODH and ODA are offering resources and assistance to facilities to address this issue, including:
- CDC guidance for long term care facilities;.
- CDC online “Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training”;.
- Education materials available on the ODH COVID-19 website.
There are approximately 2.8 million Ohioans over age 60.The state also has established www.coronavirus.ohio.gov to serve as a resource for updated information about the virus in Ohio.