Governor greenlights indoor visitation at care facilities for developmentally disabled

Many are still preparing spaces that meet the guidelines
Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 7:21 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Ohio Governor Mike Dewine is now allowing indoor visitation at Intermediate Care Facilties (ICFs ) for those with developmental disabilities. The visits were allowed to begin on Monday, September 28, 2020 but like many of the lifted restrictions, some facilities are waiting longer to make sure they are prepared.

“We’re very happy the Governor is allowing indoor visits because it is getting a little crisp at night but we want to make sure everyone is safe and not just say ok here we go,” says Michael Malone, the executive director at Manahan.

Manahan, the former Josina Lott, on Holland Sylvania is working to create a safe space for indoor in-person visits that protects residents and visitors from COVID-19. Thirty adults call the facility home and it’s been shutdown since March 13 due to the virus. In June, staff decided to get creative and hosted a drive-thru parade so residents could safely see family members from a distance. Outdoor visitation started in mid-June and now the facility is preparing to move those visits indoors but it is a process.

“We’ve been really lucky and kept COVID-19 away from us since March and we are keeping our fingers crossed because we want to continue to do that,” says Malone.

Now staff members are working to create a space in the gym that allows visitors to enter and exit from an exterior door and have space to chat from a distance with loved ones. The visits will remain contactless and partitions are on order.

Meanwhile, residents are still enjoying time together, gathering in groups of ten for recreation time and socially-distant field trips and the hope is to have families indoors soon as the temperatures drop.

“We have to be one step ahead what do we do with Christmas and holiday parties, gifts? We have to determine what can we do to make them feel comfortable and their families,” says Malone.

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