(WKBN) – The director of Ohio’s Department of Health addressed the COVID-19 outbreak in Mahoning County, particularly the strain on area nursing homes.
Mahoning County leads the state for the most coronavirus-related deaths.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 305 positive cases and 28 deaths in the county.
Dr. Amy Acton said the state health department is “working side by side” with high-risk areas like nursing homes and prisons. She said nursing homes should follow guidelines put out by the Nursing Home Association.
That guidance offers information on which patients should stay in nursing homes and which should be transported to hospitals during COVID-19 outbreaks.
Dr. Acton said nursing homes in Mahoning County, like those in other areas, are suffering from a shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment).
She said officials at nursing homes should know that the state health department is there to assist them, however.
“We do have, again, scarce resources, but we are coming alongside the nursing homes that reach out to us and helping you navigate this outbreak,” she said.
Acton said nursing homes need to be consistent in following guidelines from the state.
WKBN has requested information from local health officials on nursing homes that may be dealing with coronavirus outbreaks, but we were told the information could not be provided due to HIPAA regulations.
Watch the video to hear from Acton at Wednesday’s press conference.