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DIGGING DEEPER: Ohio takes different approach to sharing outbreak information within long-term care facilities

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WPTA21) - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine believes transparency during a public health crisis is important to keep the public informed.

He sat down with ABC21 for a 1-on-1 interview over Skype.

As we previously reported, Indiana state leaders refused to share COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes, instead leaving it up those facilities to report infections to the public.

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Not many nursing homes in northeast Indiana have chosen to do so.

But that's not the approach Governor DeWine is taking.

"Since this all started, we've had the attitude that we need to share with the public what we know, when we know it," DeWine told us, "and sometimes that's partial information, sometimes that's incomplete information. We've been very open about it, and our understanding of the virus continues to evolve."

Ohio publishes COVID-19 cases among residents and staff at every long-term care facility in the state.

That kind of information can be challenging for families of residents in nursing homes, as well as the public, to obtain.

ABC21 asked American Senior Communities to confirm a COVID-19 outbreak at the Fort Wayne facility they operate, Bethlehem Woods Nursing & Rehabilitation, back in April.

They declined our requests for information numerous times, until May 18, when ASC and Health & Hospital Corporation decided to release that coronavirus data.

RELATED: DIGGING DEEPER: American Senior Communities releases COVID-19 cases in state nursing homes

DeWine says though he has talked to Gov. Holcomb "a lot" they haven't discussed what, and how much information should be shared concerning those facilities.

"What we knew two months ago, and what we know now are very different."

Daniel Beals

Daniel Beals is an award-winning journalist and photographer who started his career at ABC21. He is a Michigan native and graduate of Grand Valley State University. Daniel welcomes any story idea. Feel free to reach out: dbeals@wpta21.com.

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