• 70°

Health department orders COVID-19 testing expanded at Ohio assisted-living facilities

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Staff members at all Ohio assisted living facilities must undergo coronavirus testing under a public health order issued Friday that expands testing already being done in nursing homes.

The order, signed by interim Health Director Lance Himes, requires staff in such facilities to be tested and any residents who wish it. Ohio licences 771 assisted living facilities statewide.

The pandemic has struck the elderly living in Ohio’s long-term care facilities especially hard. More than 2,500 residents in such settings have died from the coronavirus in Ohio, or more than six of every 10 deaths statewide.

DeWine was also expected to issue an order Friday on guidelines for performing arts facilities.

Also Friday, the state reported Ohio’s unemployment rate fell to 8.9% in July, down from 11% in June, as the economic shock of the pandemic continues to ease. Ohio’s unemployment rate stood at 4.2% in July 2019 in pre-pandemic days.

Ohio’s current July rate is lower than the national unemployment rate of 10.2%.