CDC’s guidelines call for testing individually when nursing home residents show symptoms or collectively if there is a new confirmed case of COVID-19 in a home. However, a month ago (May 11) the Trump White House “urged” nursing homes to ensure that every nursing home resident and staff member be tested for the coronavirus within 14 days. It did not happen. It’s not going to happen. Ever. There are not enough tests nor the funds to process them….still.
“All of this is probably not as well thought out as it could have been.” said Dr. Jim Wright, the medical director at a Virginia nursing home where dozens of residents have died. “It sounds more like an impulsive type of directive rather than one that has been completely vetted by providers on the ground.”
“At this time it would be fairly useless to do that,” said Nebraska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Anthone, adding that the state would have to repeat the tests almost daily to get more than a snapshot in time, and the state doesn’t have the capacity when there are others who need to be tested.
A review by The Associated Press found that at least half of the states are not going to meet White House’s deadline and some aren’t even bothering to try. Nursing home operators have said the lack of testing kits and other resources have left them nearly powerless to stop the virus from entering their facilities because they haven’t been able to identity silent spreaders not showing symptoms.