DeWine talks about director search, senior centers and visiting nursing homes

Coronavirus

An announcement about indoor visitation could be coming soon

Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio

Credit: governor.ohio.gov/

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio governor Mike DeWine talked Tuesday about the change of heart his pick to head up the Ohio Department of Health had after he announced her appointment, and he also gave new hope for those longing to spend more time with loved ones in nursing homes.

Last Thursday, DeWine announced Dr. Joan Duwve as the new Ohio Department of Health director, only to have Duwve take herself out of consideration for the position hours later.

Duwve cited the harassment of ODH Director Amy Acton as the reason for removing herself from the position.

DeWine said he will find the right person for the job.

“Let me just say I don’t want anyone to be concerned. We have some very, very good people at the health department right now. Some of them have been there a long time. We have, during this pandemic, surged in people from other departments and we will continue to do that,” DeWine said.

DeWine also talked about testing in nursing homes.

Director of the Department of Aging Uursel McElroy joined the meeting. She talked about the three reasons testing is done in long term care facilities. When senior centers open on September 21, staff will be tested every other week. Participants will be tested as symptoms come up.

McElroy also talked about visitation at nursing homes.

“We certainly know that the weather is not on our side, but we recognize how important it is to have ongoing connections and having those relationships remain,” McElroy said. “It is not our plan to do anything to disrupt those connections. In fact, we are working really hard to be able to bolster those connections here really soon.”

McElroy says she hopes to have an announcement about indoor visitation soon.

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