CINCINNATI (FOX19) - An emotional burden for families in Ohio is about to be lifted.
On May 28, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that outdoor visitation will be allowed beginning June 8 at assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for those with disabilities. The order does not apply to nursing homes.
Still, on Monday, for the first time in months, some people will be able to visit their loved ones again.
Each facility may determine how to best implement outdoor visitations, but the policy must include:
- Screening for temperatures and symptom-reporting for visitors;
- Scheduled hours and time limits for visits;
- Proper social distancing measures;
- Face coverings;
- Resident, family and friend education about the risks of the spread of COVID-19.
State officials suggest calling the facility you plan to visit to check if they’re allowing visits and what their rules are.
“No one should just show up, because the truth is, even with the visitation, they would have to turn you away. So don’t just show up. We want you to get the chance to see your loved one," Executive Director of the Ohio Assisted Living Association Jean Thompson said.
Thompson says just because visits are allowed does not mean every facility is included.
Scott Reynolds is one of the countless people across the state with a relative in an assisted living facility. His mother, Francene, stays at a facility in Hamilton.
Scott has been able to see her through the window but has not hugged his mother in months. He says enough is enough and wants these facilities fully open.
“There are employees going in and out of the facility all day long, getting lunch, smoking cigarettes," he said. “They’re not social distancing. So, if they can be tested, so can I.”
On Sunday, June 7, Scott will hold a peaceful protest outside the facility. He says this is an effort to raise awareness about what he and many other people across the state are dealing with.