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Here's LA County's Plan To Ramp Up Coronavirus Testing At Nursing Homes 

More than 50 ambulances took patients from the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center to other facilities on April 8, 2020. (Screenshot of video from Riverside University Health System)
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As COVID-19 continues to ravage nursing homes in Los Angeles County, local health officials released a plan to ramp up testing of residents and staff — including those showing no symptoms of the disease. The county has 360 skilled nursing facilities, with 35,000 to 40,000 residents on any given day.

More than 6,000 staff and residents of what are known as "congregate living facilities" — including nursing homes, homeless shelters and jails — have tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in the county; 627 of them have died. County officials have said most of those deaths are of nursing home residents and staff, accounting for nearly half of all coronavirus deaths in L.A.

Here's what the county plans to do to slow the growth of those numbers:

  • Test all residents and staff of nursing homes that have at least one positive coronavirus case, and continue to test them every two weeks.
  • Test and quarantine all new nursing home residents until they test negative.
  • Test a sample of residents and staff at nursing homes that do not have known outbreaks and continue to sample every one to two weeks.
  • Isolate residents who refuse testing for 14 days.
  • Do not allow staff to work at the facility if they refuse to be tested.

Health officials say they plan to make available 60,000 kits per week for testing in nursing homes and other group settings.

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