Nursing Homes Still See Dangerously Long Waits for COVID Test Results

Nursing homes are still taking days to get back COVID-19 test results as many shun the Trump administration’s central strategy to limit the spread of the virus among old and sick Americans.

In late summer, federal officials began distributing to nursing homes millions of point-of-care antigen tests, which can be given on-site and report the presence or absence of the virus within minutes. By January, the Department of Health and Human Services is slated to send roughly 23 million rapid tests.

But as of Oct. 25, 38% of the nation’s roughly 15,000 nursing homes have yet to use a point-of-care test, a KHN analysis of nursing home records shows.

The numbers suggest a basic disagreement among the Trump administration, state health officials and nursing home administrators over the best way to test this population and how to strike the right balance between speed and accuracy. Many nursing homes still primarily

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Nursing homes still see dangerously long waits for Covid-19 test results

Nursing homes are still taking days to get back Covid-19 test results as many shun the Trump administration’s central strategy to limit the spread of the virus among old and sick Americans.



a group of stuffed animals sitting next to a teddy bear: This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (orange)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (green) cultured in the lab. Credit: NIAID-RML


© NIAID-RML
This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (orange)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (green) cultured in the lab. Credit: NIAID-RML

In late summer, federal officials began distributing to nursing homes millions of point-of-care antigen tests, which can be given on-site and report the presence or absence of the virus within minutes. By January, the Department of Health and Human Services is slated to send roughly 23 million rapid tests.

But as of Oct. 25, 38% of the nation’s roughly 15,000 nursing homes have yet to use a point-of-care test, a KHN analysis of nursing home records shows.

The numbers suggest

Read More