Gov. Mike DeWine announced the money will become available to nursing homes, assisted living centers and adult day care centers that invest in HVAC improvements to weaken coronavirus’ spread.
COLUMBUS — Ohio is prepared to spend $28 million in federal funds to help senior citizen facilities provide cleaner air in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. Mike DeWine announced the money will become available to nursing homes, assisted living centers and adult day care centers that invest in HVAC improvements to weaken coronavirus’ spread. The funds also can go to hospices, senior centers, group homes and substance abuse facilities.
Grants for reimbursement, DeWine said Thursday, can cover improvements to indoor HCAV systems and secondary devices that destroy bacteria, mold and viruses.
Ohio’s long-term care facilities reported 70 new COVID-19 cases this week, compared with 157 the previous week. In December, long-term care facilities reported 2,832 new cases one week.
“In addition to wearing masks, social distancing and cleaning, there is no doubt of the significant impact vaccination is having on protecting nursing home residents and preventing severe illness and death among those most targeted by the virus,” DeWine said.
The air quality grant announcement came on the same day DeWine amended a health order that allows for adult day support service locations and vocational habilitation services for those with developmental disabilities to ease restrictions.
Those locations can serve 12 people at a time with mask and social distancing requirements in place.
Ohio’s COVID-19 case rate continues to decline but remains significantly higher than DeWine’s goal of 50 per 100,000 residents to end all government restrictions. DeWine said Thursday the current rate is 143.8 per 100,000 over the past two weeks.
The last time the state had a rate at or below 50 per 100,000 was in late June. Ohio’s peak came in early December, when the state showed a rate of 845.5 cases per 100,000. The rate has fallen each week since Jan. 13.