“It is important to remember that this test is simply a snapshot in time; a more strategic, long-term testing program is still the ultimate goal,” Schwartz said.
Older adults who live in senior living communities have been over represented among the hospitalized and the dead during the pandemic. There have been 2,195 long-term care residents in Ohio who died since April 15 from the coronavirus, the earliest date when long-term care deaths from COVID-19 were recorded.
The virus can enter the facilities undetected through workers who don’t feel sick, can spread quickly through people living in close quarters, and can create serious complications for older people with multiple underlying medical conditions.
Nursing home and assisted living facilities have been clamoring for more federal funds for personal protective equipment, sufficient testing supplies and rapid result tests, and other additional costs incurred trying to keep residents and staff safe.
Schwartz said the current state effort to test Ohio nursing homes every two weeks has had some delays based on lab capacity and the first round took about four weeks.