About 50% of Pa. nursing homes still have not completed universal testing of residents, staff

With nine days to go before a July 24 deadline, about half of the state’s nursing homes have completed mandated testing of all residents and staff, according to data released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health on Wednesday.

Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine on June 8, about five weeks ago, issued an order requiring long-term care facilities in the state, 694 in all, to test all residents and staff at least once by next Friday. However, the state reported Wednesday that only 349 have done so.

“Our goal with implementing this universal testing in nursing homes is to rapidly detect asymptomatic positive residents and staff, manage their care and prevent further transmission of covid-19 in these living settings,” Levine said in a statement. “As facilities implement universal testing and continue to report their facility information, it will help us understand how covid-19 is impacting these vulnerable populations.”

“We are continuing to work to assist facilities who need to finalize their first round of testing,” Wardle said.

The health department recently contracted with Eurofins Central Laboratory in Lancaster. The lab will assist with testing specimens from nursing homes at no cost to the facilities, according to the health department.

Omnicare, a CVS Health company, was also contracted by the health department to administer up to 50,000 tests to nursing home residents and staff starting June 29.

In a June 24 statement, the health department outlined a plan to prioritize testing at facilities with new or ongoing outbreaks before moving on to those with resolved or no outbreaks.

State: Brighton Rehab hasn’t completed testing

Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver County — the site of one of the worst covid-19 outbreaks in the state with 73 deaths — is not listed among the 349 facilities that have completed testing so far, state data show.

Two out of the five other Beaver County nursing homes, Concordia at Villa St. Joseph and Rochester Manor, also have not yet completed the mandatory testing.

Rochester Manor has not had any cases or deaths, but Concordia at Villa St. Joseph has reported 10 cases among residents and at least one death.

The state health department redacts totals fewer than five cases on its reports to protect the privacy of those people.

In Allegheny, 29 out of 61 completed

Of the 61 nursing homes in Allegheny County, 29 facilities have completed testing. That includes all of the Kane Regional Centers operated by Allegheny County, as well as the Southwestern Veterans Center.

Most of the Allegheny County facilities that have not yet completed testing have reported no deaths or cases as of July 14, while some have reported fewer than five deaths or cases, state data show.

Four facilities reported “no data,” which could indicate that the facility missed the most recent reporting period or that those numbers were redacted by health department officials because of errors.

Westmoreland: 10 out of 19 are done

Of the 19 nursing homes in Westmoreland County, 10 have completed testing, including the county’s largest facility, Westmoreland Manor in Greensburg.

Most of the Westmoreland County facilities that have not yet completed testing also have not reported any cases or deaths, with the exception of The Grove at Latrobe, which state data show has had 35 cases among residents and eight deaths.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jamie at 724-850-2867, jmartines@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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Published at Wed, 15 Jul 2020 21:17:03 +0000

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