Nursing Home COVID-19 Testing FAQs From CMS (12/20)

By CMS - December 08, 2020

These Frequently Asked Questions cover the following topics:

1.      Q: CMS posts county positivity rates for staff testing. What if my state or county also posts rates of COVID-19 positivity for each county?

2.      Q: Should nursing homes use the percent positivity rate or the color-coded positivity classification to determine their frequency for routine testing (i.e., twice a week, weekly, or monthly)?

3.      Q: Given CMS’ modifications to the methodology for test positivity to include two weeks of data, do I still have to wait two weeks to reduce testing frequency?

4.      Q: Should facilities always perform outbreak testing for all residents and staff when a new COVID-19 infection is identified

5.      Q: Can staff be tested by a different entity than the nursing home?

6.      Q: Some staff or care providers do not come into the facility each week; do I have to test them at the same frequency as all staff? For example, do they need to come into the facility just to be tested?

7.      Q: What is a false positive Point of Care antigen test result and what should we do if we potentially have one?

8.      Q: What steps can be taken to reduce the potential for false-positive antigen tests?

9.      Q: What if a facility is trying to comply with the testing requirements, but is unable due to factors outside of its control?

10.  Q: Do individuals providing emergency medical services (EMS) need to be tested?

11.  Q: What does the 48-hour turn-around time mean?

12.  Q: When a facility admits a new resident with COVID-19, does that trigger outbreak testing?