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Wolf administration issues universal testing order for nursing homes, updates testing guidance for long-term care facilities


The Wolf administration today issued a universal testing order requiring all nursing homes to complete initial baseline testing no later than July 24. Additionally, the department issued updated testing guidance to all long-term care facilities (LTCFs) through the Health Alert Network (HAN).

Between May 11 and May 26 the department implemented a universal testing pilot project in five LTCFs across the commonwealth. The department is also working closely with additional facilities to implement universal testing by providing testing supplies, access to the Bureau of Laboratories and staffing support through the National Guard to train and assist with swabbing.

Thus far, over 75 LTCFs completed widespread testing, and the number of tests in LTCFs has increased 48% over the last two weeks, bringing the percent of positive cases in this population to its lowest level since the start of the outbreak.

Additionally, the department shared further information on the testing requirements and frequently asked questions on order.

The updated testing guidance the department issued to all long-term care facilities brings a renewed focus on:

• Keeping COVID-19 out of the facility by testing all staff and residents;

• Detecting cases quickly with facility-wide testing when a new case in a resident or health care professional is found; and

• Stopping the spread by continuing weekly testing of all residents and staff through at least 14 days since the most recent positive result.

For the purposes of the updated testing guidance, long-term care facilities include, but is not limited to, skilled nursing facilities, personal care homes, assisted living residences, community residential rehabilitation services, long-term structured residence, residential treatment facility for adults and intermediate care facilities.

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