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Following Toomey Request, CDC Will Prioritize COVID-19 Testing for Nursing Home Residents and Workers

April 28, 2020

Allentown, Pa. - Following a request from U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be prioritizing COVID-19 testing for nursing home residents and workers.

"Many nursing homes face extreme challenges in controlling the spread of COVID-19 infection," said Senator Toomey. "Ensuring adequate testing capacity and rapid results are available for those who live and work in nursing homes will save lives and mitigate further spread. The CDC made the right decision to prioritize testing and rapid results for these populations. More work remains though to combat the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes. This includes greater access to protective equipment and maintaining strict isolation measures for nursing home residents."

The CDC previously categorized long-term care residents as "Priority 2" for COVID-19 testing procedures and asymptomatic nursing home employees were categorized as "Priority 3." Now, both nursing home residents and employees will be categorized as "high priority."

Senator Toomey asked the Trump administration to make this change on April 9th, 2020.

From the Allentown Morning Call:

"...Toomey's office has asked the White House coronavirus task force to consider directing commercial and public labs to prioritize the samples of patients and health care staff at long-term care living facilities that have reported at least one COVID-19 positive case."