Jul 15, 2020 - Health

Trump administration plans to increase coronavirus testing at nursing homes

Members of the Massachusetts National Guard remove their hazmat suits

Members of the Massachusetts National Guard remove their hazmat suits after helping with testing at a nursing home. Photo: Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Trump administration announced Tuesday it will be ramping up testing at nursing homes in coronavirus hotspots using rapid point-of-care diagnostic test instruments.

Why it matters: The push to increase testing at nursing homes comes as many states, particularly in the Southern U.S., see a surge. Many nursing homes fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic as the virus spread among residents early on. More than 40% of U.S. coronavirus deaths were linked to nursing homes in mid-June.

What they're saying: Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Brett Giroir stated, “Access to rapid point-of-care testing in nursing homes will further protect our Nation’s most vulnerable patients."

What to watch: The distribution will begin next week at nursing homes prioritized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

  • Each home will receive one diagnostic test instruments and associated tests.

Go deeper: Controlling the coronavirus in nursing homes won't be easy

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