The CDC Says If You Live or Work Here, You Need a Weekly COVID-19 Test
The agency says they need to locate and isolate new cases of the virus in this particular place.
While COVID-19 tests may have their fair share of turnaround time issues and inaccuracies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still urging as many people as possible to go and get tested for exposure to COVID-19. And even though it may be getting more difficult to get tested in certain parts of the country, the agency is now recommending that one specific group of people get swabbed fairly regularly. After the results of a recent study, the CDC is advising that anyone who lives or works in a nursing home facility undergo a weekly COVID-19 test.
Nursing homes have seen a startling amount of COVID-19 cases and deaths, likely because they house some of the most vulnerable Americans, due to both age and underlying conditions. In fact, according to a new report from The New York Times, 43 percent U.S. deaths are linked to nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
The CDC's new research, published on July 1, calls for nursing home employees and residents to undergo regular COVID-19 tests at least once a week. The report reads: "CDC now recommends repeat testing (e.g., every 3–7 days) of all residents and health care personnel who previously had negative test results until testing identifies no new cases of COVID-19 among residents or health care personnel."
The CDC hopes that a higher frequency of testing will help locate and isolate any possible cases before they develop into an outbreak within the high-risk facilities.
The CDC's report, which centered on Detroit, Michigan, comes just weeks after the state's officials mandated the testing of anyone currently living or working in a nursing home after one in three coronavirus deaths were reported to have originated in such facilities, Crain's Detroit reported. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, that includes all of the state's 33,000 residents at 447 facilities.
Luckily, it would appear that the aggressive approach to testing for coronavirus before it can spread is working. According to the CDC report, "among 12 facilities participating in a second survey and receiving on-site infection prevention and control (IPC) support, the percentage of newly identified cases decreased from 35 percent to 18 percent." And if you're looking for more information on testing mistakes you should avoid, check out Your Coronavirus Test Results Are Definitely Wrong If You Made This Mistake.