Many nursing properties keep away from free Covid-19 testing gadgets
Thousands of rapid Covid-19 test devices are sitting idle in nursing homes across the country, even though some facilities are facing delays in getting results from outside laboratories, according to federal data.
The federal government spent more than $ 100 million sending rapid test equipment to the vast majority of nursing homes in the country. However, some industry executives are concerned about the accuracy of the point of care tests and the time it takes for staff to use them, and guidelines in some states that discourage use of the tests.
Almost 30% of the 13,150 facilities that had rapid test devices in place for at least two weeks had not used them to test a single resident or employee, according to a federal survey of nursing homes. During the weeks that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulations required testing due to local outbreaks, hundreds of facilities did not use the rapid test equipment at all, the survey shows.
The equipment that nursing homes can use to conduct on-site tests and get quick results is designed to ensure facilities can detect coronavirus infections early before they spread. Long-term care facilities have been linked to more than 88,000 Covid-19 deaths since the pandemic began in the United States. This comes from a journal that contains up-to-date state, local, and federal data.