California Requires Nursing Homes Undergo Universal Testing

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California's health department just released new instructions to all nursing facilities in the state. They are now required to test everybody in their facilities with the hopes of slowing down the spread of coronavirus through the state.

This news comes after Los Angeles County tried to lessen their testing policy.

“It’s disgraceful that the county would take a step backward on testing at a time when dozens of nursing home residents are dying from the coronavirus almost every day,” said Michael Connors, a spokesman for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, nursing homes have become ground zero. This partly because of the amount of elderly people with underlying health conditions living in close quarters. This has allowed the virus to spread quickly inflating the numbers in states. In the beginning of May, the Los Angeles Times found that half of all the coronavirus deaths in California came from skilled nursing or assisted living facilities.

“Nursing home residents, and the healthcare personnel who care for them, are among our most vulnerable for COVID-19 infections,” said California’s health and human services secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, after the state issued the new instructions. “Mandatory testing will provide the knowledge we all need to make informed care decisions.”

These new testing guidelines follow New York, New Jersey, Florida and Texas.

It seems like a great idea but the devil has been in the details: finding enough test kits, determining how frequently to test and deciding who will pay for it all.

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