Area nursing homes taking Ohio governor’s limited visitor policy seriously


"Our population is very high-risk. They're very susceptible," a Shepherd of the Valley official said

(WYTV) – There are new visitor regulations for nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Ohio. Some nursing homes are going above and beyond the state’s health recommendations.

Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday more restrictions are coming to all Ohio nursing homes and assisted living facilities. On Wednesday, DeWine announced nursing home residents will be limited to just one visitor each day.

It’s a change Shepherd of the Valley is taking very seriously.

“Our population is very high-risk. They’re very susceptible,” said Suzanne Rich, the clinical services director at Shepherd of the Valley.

In response to DeWine’s suggestions, all four of their locations will temporarily restrict access to visitors altogether. Special arrangements can be made in cases of emergency.

“We are, basically, going to be only allowing essential personnel into the facilities to take care of our residents,” Rich said. “Our goal is to take care of our residents, families and staff.”

They’re not alone. Sunrise Senior Living in Poland is also restricting visitors.

Sunrise released a statement Thursday:

“Sunrise took the prudent step to limit entry to our communities to only essential individuals. Our team members and crucial service providers are permitted to enter and we are following rigorous screening policies to minimize infection risk.”

Other senior living facilities are making changes, too. While some are going with the one-visitor-a-day rule, others are changing the times people are allowed to visit and some are not allowing visitors at all.

If you are wondering what the policy is at a specific facility, you should call that facility.

“As the conditions change, as the recommendations change, as our cases change in the area, we’ll be making adjustments and doing what we need to do to keep everyone safe,” Rich said. “We’re doing that through communication.”

Several senior centers and events in the area are making adjustments as well:

Columbiana County

Mahoning County

  • The Austintown Senior Center will close, effective immediately and until further notice. The senior center will be cleaned and disinfected during the mandatory closing.
  • Voting for Beaver Township precinct 5 at Shepherd of the Valley on Western Reserve Road and Sharrott on Tuesday, March 17 is moving to the Holiday Inn Express on Market Street.
  • Voting for Sebring precinct 2 at Coplin Oaks on Tuesday, March 17 is moving to the Heritage Oaks Banquet Center.

Trumbull County

  • Newton Falls Schools’ senior breakfast scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday has been canceled.
  • Voting at Shepherd of the Valley Retirement Center in Howland on Tuesday, March 17 has been moved to the Howland Township Administration Building at 205 Niles Cortland Rd. NE.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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