© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Huge Percentage Of Ohio COVID-19 Deaths Come From Nursing Homes

A hand sanitizer station at a nursing home in central Ohio. Nursing homes were banned from allowing visitors in March. [Karen Kasler]
A hand sanitizer station at a nursing home in central Ohio. Nursing homes were banned from allowing visitors in March.

More than three quarters of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Ohio have come from nursing homes. This week’s total is a 30 percent increase from a week ago.


878 nursing home residents have died of COVID-19 since April 15. That's a 30% jump from 674 deaths reported on May 14, which followed a 35% jump in the 499 deaths reported on May 6.

The state updates cases among residents and staff weekly, showing those by facility and totaling them. There have been a total of 4,666 cases among residents and 2,124 among staff. And as of May 20, there are 1,410 current cases of COVID-19 among nursing home residents and 643 among staff. Over 400 nursing homes and long-term care facilities have reported cases and deaths among residents and staff.

But the website’s page listing deaths only breaks them down by county, and doesn’t total them.

The Ohio Department of Health confirms there were 369 deaths in nursing homes before April 15, when the state started reporting deaths.

So the total of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio nursing homes is 1,247, which is 79% of confirmed deaths.

DeWine didn’t address these numbers in his Thursday briefing, but has said a group of at least 10 Ohio National Guard units is being assembled to bring testing into nursing homes.

There are around 960 nursing homes in Ohio, licensed and certified by the Ohio Department of Health. A group representing nursing homes says it wants mass testing in those facilities, as has been done in three Ohio prisons. But the state has continued to say testing is limited.

Visitors to nursing homes have been banned since March 11.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.