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Governor announces long-term care testing program

Series: Coronavirus | Story 138

Last updated 5/29/2020 at 9:31am

The state Department of Health issued an order Thursday, May 28, that will require widespread testing within long-term care facilities.

Residents and staff in nursing homes will be tested within approximately two weeks, with a completion goal date of June 12. All residents and staff in assisted living facilities with a memory care unit will be tested within four weeks, with a completion goal date of June 26.

"Residents of long-term care centers are some of our state's most vulnerable," said Gov. Jay Inslee during a news conference. "This effort will serve as an invaluable tool to reduce any introduction of COVID-19 into these facilities. Especially as we reopen the state, we must double down on these efforts."

Facilities that completed a COVID-19 point prevalence survey of residents and staff on or after April 1 will be excluded from this round of testing.

To help in this effort, the state will pay for the cost of the tests and the PPE necessary to administer them for staff, which is estimated to total $1.5 million for nursing homes alone. Cost estimates for other facilities are continuing through the Office of Financial Management and other state agencies.

Facilities unable to meet these requirements in the designated time frame must notify the Department of Health to avoid violations of the order.


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