Community organized testing is decided in consultation. Various factors contribute to the decision, but whether or not testing is executed, current community precautions will remain in effect.
Why Not Test Everyone?
Indiscriminate testing without cause is not wise nor realistic given current circumstances. The decision to test and leverage resources and relationships to achieve it is made prudently.
- The test is only a snapshot, the data is an incomplete picture and ages quickly. It tells us who is probably not infected at the time of collection, but not who may become infected after, already has antibodies, or may be too early in infection to show positive at test time. The information, gathered without cause, can increase confusion and a false sense of security.
- Testing without cause may diminish resources needed later, including PPE/risk for testers, funding, willingness of staff and residents to undergo repeated tests, coverage by resident insurance carriers, and/or willingness of healthcare providers to re-sign off on resident Physician’s Orders.
- The test is uncomfortable and not an experience anyone would wish to be subject to repeatedly.
Deciding Who and When to Test
Group testing will be done for specific cohorts of potentially exposed staff and residents when:
- there is a positive test result for COVID-19; and
- the positive individual has been on campus in the last 14 days; and
- circumstances warrant a Generations or the Health Department recommendation to test.
We have partnered with Magnolia Diagnostics. In some markets, there are other local testing options available that we may utilize.
Process for Test Execution: Test kits are overnighted. A trained nurse on campus performs nasal swabs. Nasal swabs take 10 seconds to collect. The test is not painful but causes some discomfort. Specimens are sent to and analyzed by Magnolia Diagnostics’ lab.
Results: Lab result turn around is ~72 hours after received. Results are given to the community via lab portal. Staff are each contacted with their individual result, with special instructions and support given for any positives. Resident results are relayed individually as appropriate to the specific resident group. Result totals are shared with the greater community family (all staff, campus residents, and resident families) by leadership.
Preparation: All staff and residents must sign consent, though a resident’s legal guardian may give consent as appropriate. The lab will require basic staff and resident information, including resident insurance for billing.
Cost: Staff testing is covered by the Community. Resident test cost will be billed to their insurance.