September 24, 2020
Dear Care Center and TCU Residents and Responsible Parties,
Recently the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services published new require- ments for COVID-19 testing in nursing homes. This letter is to give you an overview of these new requirements. There are three scenarios which will trigger COVID-19 testing.
- Diagnostic Testing. Diagnostic testing is triggered for individual staff members or residents who are exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
- Positivity Rate Testing. Positivity Rate Testing is triggered based on the number of positive COVID-19 tests in a county as a percent of the total tests administered in a county in a given period. Different positivity rates require different testing frequencies.
- When a county has a positivity rate of less than 5%, all staff are required to be tested monthly.
- When a county positivity rate is between 5% and 10%, all staff are tested once a week.
- When the positivity rate is over 10% in the county, all staff are to be tested twice a week.
Note: Nursing Home Residents are not routinely tested based on a county’s positivity rate.
- Outbreak Testing. Outbreak testing is triggered when least one resident or staff member has a new diagnosis of COVID-19. Under this scenario, all staff and residents are tested weekly.
Based on these requirements, our facility is now testing weekly. As has been our practice, you may find out more information about the status of COVID-19 on our website at https://www.gulfcoastvillage.com/blog/. Here we will continue to post the number of staff or residents with new signs or symptoms of COVID-19, the number of new individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 and the cumulative number of individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
We continue to follow strict CDC guidelines and recommended protocols in taking measures to ensure the safety of our residents and staff. These measures include, but are not limited to:
- Providing necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for isolation precautions, including masks and face shields.
- Screening all residents and monitoring them for symptoms and fever throughout the day.
- Screening all employees for symptoms and fever immediately upon entrance; employees with any symptoms will be sent home immediately.
- Frequent disinfection of surfaces, equipment, resident rooms and other areas of our building.
If you have questions about the testing strategy or anything else related to our COVID-19 response, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at please contact me at 239-772-1333 or email us at GCVCOVID19@gulfcoastvillage.org .
Executive Director, Gulf Coast Village