State officials say it will take some time to develop a plan to test workers and patients at California’s 1,224 nursing homes, and they’re looking at the efforts of three counties to help inform its implementation.
Nearly half of the state’s reported coronavirus cases are located in assisted living and nursing homes.
In California, “I think we’re a couple of weeks away from having this all ironed out, and it comes down to ensuring that we not only have the supplies but also the people power to get the testing done,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, who runs the state’s Health and Human Services Agency.
Ghaly noted that San Francisco, Alameda and Los Angeles counties are developing their own testing programs. “We're working with those counties to ensure that it can be implemented and done well, and then we'll expand to the rest of the state in the days to come,” he said.
San Francisco has ordered testing for the virus among workers and patients at the city’s 21 nursing homes, whether they’re showing symptoms or not. Alameda County now is recommending that clinicians test everyone in care homes when the results can be useful; for example, testing results could help separate patients into cohorts.
Counties and the state say the hope is to establish and repeat care-home testing until the pandemic slows.
— Molly Peterson (@Mollydacious)