Wednesday, May 6, 2020

CDC Updates and Resources

Testing

This week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) made changes to its priority classifications for COVID-19 testing. The CDC has now modified its priority classifications into two categories: high priority and priority, and both healthcare facility workers with symptoms and residents in long term care facilities with symptoms are classified as high priority.

Resources for Frontline Staff

In addition, the CDC states that healthcare workers with contact with a person with known or suspected COVID-19 should be considered for testing. Residents and health care workers in long term care facilities without symptoms may also be prioritized by state or local health departments or clinicians, for reasons including public health monitoring, sentinel surveillance, or screening of other asymptomatic individuals.

Symptoms

Previously, the CDC identified three priority levels for testing. Patients in long term care facilities with symptoms were identified as priority two for testing while healthcare workers with symptoms were identified as priority one and healthcare workers without symptoms as priority three.

This update represents a positive step in continuing the push for better access to testing for both long term care residents and staff. Providers should use this guidance when seeking testing from hospitals, physicians, labs and local officials and advocating for faster turnaround times.

For more information, please see AHCA/NCAL’s recent guidance on testing. Facilities can refer to AHCA/NCAL’s list of vendors who provide testing in nursing home setting and are FDA-approved.

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