Mandatory Universal COVID-19 testing in nursing homes delayed in Pennsylvania

Written by on July 27, 2020

Mandatory Universal COVID-19 testing in nursing homes delayed in Pennsylvania

By Jen Rehill

July 27, 2020

Friday was the deadline for mandatory universal coronavirus testing for Pennsylvania’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities – but officials said about one in five couldn’t meet that deadline. WLVR’s Jen Rehill reports.

Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says some results from nursing homes have been delayed by a significant national testing backlog due to major outbreaks in other parts of the country. Others will complete testing Monday.

Levine says the widespread effort has revealed new cases.

“We have seen an increase in terms of the number of patients and staff and we expected that because we are testing everyone, and we are having asymptomatic patients and asymptomatic staff, which is particularly what we’re looking for,” said Levine. 

Levine says identifying asymptomatic individuals allows facilities to isolate cases and prevent further spread of the virus. 

And the stakes are high – nearly 70 percent of the state’s 7,000 plus coronavirus deaths have been in nursing homes.

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