Quickly performing facility-wide coronavirus testing after a Covid-19 case is identified might help control its transmission among residents and health care workers, according to research published Tuesday in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Nursing homes are some of the highest risk environments for contracting Covid-19 in the US.
Authors from the CDC compiled data from seven state and local health departments that conducted facility-wide testing in a total of 288 nursing homes from March 24 to June 14.
The researchers found that health departments in Arkansas, Detroit, New Mexico, Utah and Vermont performed facility-wide Covid-19 tests in 93 nursing homes, which helped authorities detect new cases in 79% of facilities.
“Facility-wide testing of residents and health care personnel (HCP) can identify asymptomatic and presymptomatic infections and facilitate infection prevention and control interventions,” the report said, noting that state health departments needed to have the resources for widespread testing.
As well as being a high risk environment for elderly patients, nursing homes also pose a health risk to the employees who work there.
More than 900 US health care workers have died of Covid-19, according to a news release from the Kaiser Family Foundation published Wednesday.