In Coronavirus Fight, New Mandate for Nursing Homes: Test or Face Fines

ABC News: In Coronavirus Fight, New Mandate for Nursing Homes: Test or Face Fines, August, 25, 2020

Nursing homes that fail to test residents and staff for coronavirus could face fines under new measures announced by the Trump administration Tuesday. While the agency has been recommending widespread testing for months, this is the first time nursing homes could see financial consequences for failing to test residents or staff if there are hints of an outbreak, like symptoms of COVID-19 among residents or staff. As more staff are tested and found to be infected, nursing homes will have to ensure they are able to replace infected staff members with well-trained replacements. Well-trained staff are key to infection prevention among residents. “When nurse aides are responsible for too many residents, they don’t have the time to follow the proper infection prevention procedures,” said Carlson. “It’s penny wise and pound foolish for facilities to short-staff facilities, since this research shows that overworked staff leads to infections and deaths.”