Pa. nursing homes complete baseline COVID-19 testing

Written by on September 3, 2020

Pa. nursing homes complete baseline COVID-19 testing

By Health’s Brett Sholtis, Transformation Health

September 3, 2020

The state has completed baseline testing for COVID-19 at nursing homes, and is planning to expand to other groups.

State Department of Human Services Secretary Theresa Miller says all of the state’s more-than 1,300 assisted living residences, personal care homes, and private intermediate care facilities have completed universal baseline COVID-19 testing – meeting an August 31 deadline set earlier this year. 

More than 5,000 of the state’s nearly 7,700 COVID-19 deaths are among people in nursing homes. 

State Health Secretary Doctor Rachel Levine says one focus now is to add testing for other vulnerable groups. 

“So we want to make sure, for example, that minority populations have access to testing, African-American populations, the Latino population.” 

Levine says the baseline testing helps to assess the level of coronavirus spread in an area and allow for the appropriate response. 

She says that will be especially important as the commonwealth heads into the fall, with schools resuming classes, and some people eager to visit businesses and restaurants. 

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