All PA nursing homes completed testing for COVID-19

Pennsylvania

Margaret Choinacki, center, 87, who has no other family members left because her husband and daughter have died, waves goodbye after a drive-by visit by her friend Frances Reaves, as resident care coordinator Anggy Volmar, right, wheels her back inside, Friday, July 17, 2020, at Miami Jewish Health in Miami. Miami Jewish Health has connected more than 5,000 video calls and allowed drive-by visits where friends and family emerge through sunroofs to see their loved ones. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced on Tuesday that all 693 nursing homes in Pennsylvania have completed testing of all residents and staff for COVID-19 at least once.

This testing was done in accordance with the universal testing order in nursing homes that was issued on June 8. The Wolf administration originally planned for all nursing homes to be tested weekly before reverting to a single baseline test.

“This was an essential step to ensure that we further protect residents and staff within these vulnerable communities,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We provided nursing home owners and operators with the resources they needed to complete this huge task and we are appreciative for their cooperation. Through our partnership with CVS Health and Eurofins we will continue to provide skilled nursing facilities with access to testing services at no cost.”

The DOH said that the department’s goal with implementing universal testing in nursing homes is to rapidly detect asymptomatic positive residents and staff and prevent further transmission of COVID-19.

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