Ohio Governor Updates Coronavirus Testing Priority Categories

 

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine updated the state’s guidelines for order of priority for coronavirus testing on Tuesday.

“It’s important to remember that testing is only one response to this virus,” DeWine said in a statement. “It allows us to quickly identify individuals infected with COVID-19, promptly isolate them and determine who they’ve been in close contact with to minimize the spread.”

Testing priority is split into three categories.

Ohio residents who are considered Priority 1 include those who are presenting symptoms of COVID-19 and are also hospitalized or a healthcare worker such as a behavioral health provider, home health worker, nursing facility and assisted living employee, or those who work in healthcare and congregate living settings.

The state defines “congregate living settings” as those where more than six people live, such as Ohio Veterans Home, residential facilities for substance abuse and psychiatric hospitals.

Those listed as Priority 2 are those who are presenting symptoms and are 65 years old or older, a first responder, someone with underlying conditions or someone who is a resident of long-term care or congregate living settings. Priority 2 also includes residents or staff of congregate living setting that have been directly exposed to COVID-19 and those who have been designated by public health officials to evaluate or manage community outbreaks.

Those included in Priority 3 do not need to be exhibiting symptoms and includes those receiving essential procedures or those receiving procedures that do not require an overnight stay.

“Increased testing capacity does not replace infection control and prevention practices such as social distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands and sanitizing high-touch surfaces,” DeWine said.

Ohio has tested 160,735 residents for coronavirus, resulting in 20,969 positives and 139,766 negatives, according to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project. There have been 3,956 hospitalizations in the state and 1,038 confirmed deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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