COVID-19 County Positivity Rates: Monitor to Adjust Staff Testing (9/20)

By CMS - September 08, 2020

COVID-19 Testing 
As part of CMS’ commitment to protecting nursing home residents, and to boost the surveillance of COVID-19, nursing homes are now required to conduct testing of residents and staff.  More information about these requirements and guidelines can be found here.  These guidelines include testing staff on a certain frequency based on the COVID-19 positivity rate for the county the nursing home resides in.  Rates of county positivity are posted here. (Archive is here.) Facilities should monitor these rates every other week and adjust staff testing accordingly.
Supporting COVID-19 Testing
The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), recently announced that we will begin providing nursing homes with a Point of Care (POC) rapid response testing instrument to bolster each facility’s ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The data collected through the NHSN system directly supports this initiative by helping to prioritize the nursing homes with testing needs and an increasing number of cases. For the methodology describing how facilities are prioritized, and a listing of the facilities, please click here. A list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) is also available here.