Nursing home residents are at high risk for infection, serious illness, and death from COVID-19. Testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in respiratory specimens detects current infections among residents in nursing homes.
Viral testing of residents in nursing homes, with authorized nucleic acid amplification tests or antigen detection assays, is an important addition to other infection prevention and control (IPC) recommendations aimed at preventing SARS-CoV-2 from entering nursing homes, detecting cases quickly, and stopping transmission.
This guideline is based on currently available information about COVID-19 and will be refined and updated as more information becomes available. You can also visit https://snf-solutions.com/ to know more details about nursing facilities.
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Testing conducted at nursing homes should be implemented in addition to recommended IPC measures. Facilities should have a plan for testing residents for SARS-CoV-2.
Additional information about the components of the testing plan is available in the CDC guidance titled Preparing for COVID-19 in Nursing Homes.
Testing practices should aim for rapid turnaround times SARS-CoV-2 testing results to facilitate effective interventions.
Antibody (serologic) test results generally should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose an active SARS-CoV-2 infection or to inform IPC actions.
While this guidance focuses on testing in nursing homes, several of the recommendations such as testing residents with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and testing asymptomatic close contacts should also be applied to other long-term care facilities.