Coronavirus: Outdoor visitations for some assisted living facilities allowed June 8; guidance for county fairs announced

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the first stages of resuming visitations at nursing homes and other longer term care facilities.

Starting on June 8, assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities, that are properly prepared, will be allowed to resume outdoor visitations, DeWine said.

Additional stages on visitations for these facilities will be released later.

The governor announced guidance for county fairs, saying the state will allow for decisions on holding the fair to be made at the local level, not from the statehouse.

DeWine said fairs that do continue will need to comply with all current Department of Health orders and guidelines, and the guidelines for other sectors that would be involved at the fair. For example, food service would need to comply with sector specific guidelines for the entire food service industry.

Funding from the Ohio Department of Agriculture will be distributed for all 94 county and independent fairs in the state, he said.

DeWine also revealed that information about reopening amusement parks and zoos will come next week.

Also announced Thursday was that pharmacies will be allowed to order and administer COVID-19 tests, based on new guidelines issued by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

A map with participating pharmacies will be available at the state’s coronavirus website,

National and state unemployment numbers continue to show a downward trend, according to data released Thursday.

>>Coronavirus: Total unemployment claims down nearly 10 percent in Ohio from last week

In Ohio, the Department of Jobs and Family Services received over 42,000 new unemployment applications last week, a number that was down around 9 percent from the previous week. Including all applications, new and continuing, jobless claims were down almost 10 percent in the state compared to last week.

Nationwide, nearly 2.1 million Americans sought jobless aid last week, bringing the total number to 41 million people who have applied for unemployment nationwide since the pandemic started.

The Restarting Ohio program heads toward the weekend with the scheduled reopening of daycare facilities and summer day camps on Sunday, May 31.

Gov. Mike DeWine did not offer a briefing with reporters Wednesday. He is expected to meet the media today.

This week, his “congregate are unified response teams” should be starting their appointed rounds to every nursing home in the state that has been affected by COVID-19. Medically-trained members of the Ohio National Guard are to be a part of the teams that will test all staff members, then residents based on assessments of each resident.

[ Coronavirus: DeWine launches expanded testing at nursing homes ]

Those same “congregate care unified response teams” should be on their way to each of the state’s eight developmental centers, where they will test all residents and staff members in an effort to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 in those settings.

On June 1, banquet centers and catering businesses, both of which serve events such as wedding receptions, will be allowed to reopen with crowd size limited to 300 people. Here are the guidelines for that business sector to reopen.

>>RELATED: Catering, banquet centers can reopen June 1

>>RELATED: Pools get the go-ahead to reopen -- with a lot of guidelines

>>RELATED: DeWine unveils new tools to combat case disparity in minority communities

Some things you need to know today:

LATEST STATE DATA: As of Thursday afternoon, there are 33,915 cases in the state, 2,098 deaths, and 5,811 hospitalizations, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio has an estimated population of approximately 11.7 million, census records show.

Of the state’s positive cases, 19.5% are from Ohio’s prisons. At those prisons, there has been an increase in testing.

[ Local cases, deaths reported to Ohio Department of Health ]

There have been 347,477 people tested for coronavirus in Ohio. In the state, 5,067 cases are health care workers, which is 15 percent of the cases.

It is important to note the number of confirmed cases is not a true reflection of actual cases in the state because of the limited amount of testing available. The hope is that the number of cases will be more accurate because of the expansion of the testing standards.