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Nursing homes to take over virus testing program for staff

September 26, 2020 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Nursing homes in New Hamsphire will be in charge of testing their staff for the coronavirus starting next month.

The state Department of Health and Human Services has been operating a surveillance testing program in long term care facilities, but in mid-October will start transitioning that to individual facilities, Commissioner Lori Shibinette said last week.

The state is recommending facilities test all staff during the same week once a month, and then every other week test 10% of staff chosen at random. The state will reimburse them at $100 per test, she said.

Having the nursing homes run their own programs will allow the state to start similar surveillance programs elsewhere, including in assisted living communities and correctional facilities, Shibinette said.

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As many as 20 nursing homes once were dealing with coronavirus outbreaks at the same time, but now there is only one facility with an outbreak.