Attn: All Wisconsin Nursing Homes and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
Update regarding the Wisconsin Nursing Home and ICFs/IID Testing Opportunity
In follow up to Governor Ever’s guidance to the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to facilitate a plan to test every nursing home and ICFs/IID resident and staff member in Wisconsin for COVID-19, providers across the state are actively participating in this initiative. To date, approximately 76% of these long-term care providers are testing or have tested their residents and staff. Thank you all for your ongoing efforts to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens!
DHS supports and encourages providers to continue testing and conducting case management infectious disease practices to help keep residents and staff as safe as possible. Providers are encouraged to send the specimens back on a daily basis as testing is conducted, if possible; this will ensure the integrity of the specimens and assist in timely processing. DHS will issue additional guidance about ongoing testing strategies, in line with CMS guidance, to support each facility’s ability and safety to reopen to visitors.
Testing is a key strategy for identifying individuals who have COVID and to prevent others from becoming infected, which is particularly important for the individuals who live in these settings. It is not too late to start testing. However, if a provider does not intend to begin testing at this time, please do not order test kits until ready to do so; this allows the current supply to be sent to organizations that are actively testing. Exact Science test kits continue to be available and should be returned to the lab for processing no later than December 31, 2020 which is the current end of the CARES Act funding.
New resources for addressing staffing issues will be posted under “Planning for Staffing Shortages” on the COVID-19: Long-Term Care Facilities and Services webpage.
Updated information is also posted under “Testing Criteria” on the COVID-19: Long-Term Care Facilities and Services webpage:
Overview, forms, and fact sheets:
Webinars and notifications:
Resources related to information to share with staff about COVID-19 testing, criteria for Point Prevalence Survey (PPS) retesting and testing guidance for other provider types is coming soon.
If you have questions about the testing process or suggestions for other publications that would be helpful, please email WI COVID-19 SNF Testing.