Harrisburg, PA- The Department of Health today announced all 693 nursing homes in Pennsylvania have completed testing all residents and staff for COVID-19 at least once, in accordance with Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s universal testing order issued June 8.
“This was an essential step to ensure that we further protect residents and staff within these vulnerable communities,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We provided nursing home owners and operators with the resources they needed to complete this huge task and we are appreciative for their cooperation. Through our partnership with CVS Health and Eurofins we will continue to provide skilled nursing facilities with access to testing services at no cost.”
Universal testing requires each nursing home to test all staff and residents for COVID-19 at least once to better understand the scope of how COVID-19 has impacted these vulnerable communities across the state. The department’s goal with implementing this universal testing in nursing homes is to rapidly detect asymptomatic positive residents and staff, manage their care or appropriately exclude staff from work, and prevent further transmission of COVID-19 in these living settings.
By completing universal testing, facilities are one step closer to achieving all prerequisites for their implementation plan to allow safe visitation, communal dining, activities and more based on the Department of Health’s Reopening Guidance for Nursing Homes.
In addition, the department has completed more than 98 percent of the infection control surveys CMS required to be completed by the end of July. The remaining surveys will be completed in the next few days.