DeWine Encourages But Won't Mandate Vaccine For Nursing Home Staff

Jan 5, 2021

A sign praising staff hangs on the entrance to a nursing home in Columbus.
Credit Karen Kasler

4,856 Ohioans in nursing homes and long term care facilities have died of COVID-19, well over half of the state’s overall death total.

Governor Mike DeWine has said the virus has often been brought in by staff, and yet a large number of those workers has not taken the vaccine.  Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports. 

An estimated 60 percent of nursing home and long-term care staffers haven’t gotten COVID vaccines. But DeWine says he won’t mandate vaccines for those workers. Instead, he’ll be encouraging those vaccines with a new certification he’ll be announcing showing how many people in each facility have been vaccinated.  

“Certification in the sense just to tell people X number of people in this nursing home, they've hit the goal. And I think someone making a decision about a nursing home, they want to know that.” 

DeWine says after another round of nursing home vaccines starting Friday, the state will move on to people over 75 and then move down the age groups, so younger nursing home staff will be encouraged to get the vaccine now or be forced to wait.