CDC: Early COVID-19 facility-wide testing prevents LTC outbreaks

Proactive COVID-19 testing of all long-term care staff and residents, who are usually at higher risk of contracting the virus, may help prevent potential outbreaks, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released yesterday. 

Between March and May, 15 LTC sites in Georgia performed facility-wide COVID-19 testing after their first cases emerged, which showed infections in 28% of patients and 7% of staff; follow-up testing revealed infections in a total of 42% of residents and nearly 12% of staff. This suggests that the virus had already spread prior to discovery of the first case. In comparison, 13 different facilities that proactively tested all patients and staff showed far fewer initial infections: 0.5% for residents and 1% for staff, with a follow-up rate of 1.5% and 1.7%, respectively.

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