Each week we will highlight three trending news articles shared from the long-term care industry. From nursing homes to skilled nursing facilities, this weekly post will catch you up to speed on what's new.
CMS OKs Nursing Home Testing for Visitors But Says Facilities Must Provide the Tests
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have announced that going forward, nursing home facilities that require COVID-19 tests for visitors must supply the tests themselves. In specific, they must have the 15-minute result rapid test option for entry.
Officials are not blind to the fact that in many states, there is still a shortage of supplies. CMS Division of Nursing Homes Director Evan Schulman says that if a facility understandably does not have tests available, the visit must still occur. CDC’s Kara Jacobs Slifka, Medical Officer for the agency, says that following a negative rapid test, nursing home staff should still follow up with a PCR test for confirmation.
CDC’s new COVID-19 guidance requires 10-day isolation for infected nursing home residents
On Wednesday, February 2, CDC Medical Officer Kara Jacobs Slifka highlighted updates for the CDC’s infection prevention and control guidance for nursing home facilities.
Testing: The testing of asymptomatic residents and staff has now been expanded to newly admitted residents, including those who have left the facility for 24 hours.
Isolation: The CDC is recommending a 10-day isolation period for residents and staff who test positive for COVID yet are either asymptomatic or who have mild-to-moderate illness and those who are not moderately to severely immunocompromised.
Quarantine: For residents not up to date with vaccines, and have had exposure, they should be placed in quarantine even if test results are negative. Only after day 10, and no symptoms, can they be removed from quarantine. For residents who are up to date with vaccines and have been exposed, they do not have to be quarantined. They will need to be tested. For visitors, as before, they should not visit if they have COVID symptoms, test positive, or have been exposed.
New COVID-19 test kits promised as LTC operators contend with shortages, slow PCR results
Rapid COVID test supplies and slow turnaround times for results continue to affect nursing home operators and residents. The almost 3 million rapid COVID tests being sent each week by the Biden administration is still not enough, reports LeadingAge. The surge in Omicron case rates over the holidays is seen as a large contributor to the lack of supplies and slowness of lab turnaround times.
The Department of Health and Human Services is now promising to ship 5 million point-of-care tests to nursing homes nationwide. The speed of distribution will depend on COVID-19 prevalence in the facilities surround communities, as well as staff and resident counts.
Thank you for reading this week's edition of Weekly Long-Term Care News and Updates, from BASE10. We hope you enjoyed learning about the industry's latest news and findings. To be notified for next week's post, please subscribe to our email newsletter down below.