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COVID-19

News >  Spokane

State orders nursing home residents, staff to be tested for COVID-19

UPDATED: Thu., May 28, 2020

All residents and staff at the state’s nursing homes will be tested for COVID-19 over the next two weeks. The Spokane Veterans Home, the site of a virus outbreak, is shown April 27. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
All residents and staff at the state’s nursing homes will be tested for COVID-19 over the next two weeks. The Spokane Veterans Home, the site of a virus outbreak, is shown April 27. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The state is requiring more testing at facilities that house some of its oldest and most medically fragile residents under a new order from State Health Director John Wiesman.

All residents and staff at the state’s nursing homes will be tested for COVID-19 over the next two weeks. Residents and staff at assisted-living facilities with memory care units will be tested by June 26.

Those residents run the highest risk of infection with bad outcomes, Wiesman said Thursday, while discussing the new testing orders at a news conference.

Some of the facilities have already experienced extensive testing because of early clusters of infections and deaths as the pandemic took hold in Washington. The state will focus on the facilities that haven’t had an outbreak.

The testing will be repeated, although the interval between tests hasn’t yet been set, Gov. Jay Inslee said. The state will pay the cost for testing staff but expects insurance to cover the cost for testing the residents, he said.

Positive tests will be reported to the Department of Social and Health Services, compiled and shared with the public, Wiesman said.

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