Coronavirus Update: Nursing Home Testing, Airports & More
Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.
COVID-19 cases — As of Tuesday, May 26, 4,305 cases and 188 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported or are probable in Columbus and Worthington. Countywide, 5,608 cases and 247 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported, as reported by Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health.
Statewide, 33,006 cases and 2,002 deaths have been confirmed or are probable.
Airports Announce COVID-19 Travel Measures — The Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which oversees John Glenn International Airport and Rickenbacker International Airport, has announced measures it has taken to ensure travel safety in its airports for those comfortable enough to fly, including:
- All airport employees are required to wear face coverings, customers are strongly encouraged to do so.
- Face coverings are however required by most airlines — including American, Delta, United and Alaska airlines.
- Individuals could be asked to briefly lower their masks for TSA identity verification. (The TSA has also announced additional procedure updates for passengers.)
- Sanitization has been increased for high-touch areas, restrooms and shuttles.
- Public-facing hand sanitizer stations have been installed.
- Six-feet social distancing markers have been placed in queue areas
- Shuttle buses now have limited seating capacity, while restaurants and terminals have socially-distant seating.
- Plexiglass barriers have been installed in areas where customers interact with employees.
- Touchless parking entry, allowing customers to dispense tickets hands-free, is “coming soon.”
Nursing Home Testing Expansion — Governor Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday that this week, the Ohio National Guard will assist in the expansion of testing in the state’s nursing homes. Testing in developmental centers for all staff and residents will also begin.
Congregate Care Unified Response Teams will begin testing all staff in Ohio’s nursing homes, as well as residents in nursing homes with reported or assumed cases.
69 Franklin County long-term care facilities have reported staff or resident cases as of Wednesday, May 20.
Columbus Public Health Moves to Priority 4 — The testing guidance laid out by the Ohio Department of Health features five categories of priority groups eligible for testing. In the last week or so, Columbus Public Health has moved to Priority 4, which allows symptomatic individuals who did not meet previous categories to get tested.
In the last few weeks, opportunities for community testing have been announced, which have targeted the city’s most vulnerable populations.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.