Long-Term Care Facility Testing
Screening for COVID-19 in long-term care facilities provides rapid provision of care, as well as outbreak management to communities who are especially vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19.
Options to Provide Testing to Residents and Staff
- Partner with Battelle Midwest Coordination Center to offer free pooled PCR surveillance testing: Battelle provides training, test kits, resulting and reporting for pooled PCR testing. Learn more.
- Utilize free HHS rapid antigen testing: CMS facilities have access to free rapid antigen tests through HHS.
- Work with testing providers or contract labs: Facilities can bill insurance or secure additional funding to continue to work with testing providers or contract labs.
Overview of Battelle Free Surveillance Testing
Battelle Midwest Coordination Center provides pooled surveillance PCR testing for organizations serving underserved populations, including congregate living facilities. To join this program, organizations can express interest through the Battelle Midwest Coordination Center website.
Battelle Midwest Coordination Center provides a wide range of support to facilities:
- Pairs facilities with partner testing labs
- Provides training and customer support on program participation
- Coordinates distribution of sample collection and shipping supplies
- Coordinates reporting of results to individuals and facilities
When working with the Midwest Coordination Center, facilities are responsible for some parts of the testing process:
- Complete training on program participation and sample collection and handling
- Order test kits
- Obtain consent documentation
- Collect and ship samples
- Access results and determine next steps
Additionally, long-term care facilities should note that Battelle Midwest Coordination Center offers pooled PCR for surveillance testing.
- What is pooled testing?
- Pooling is the process of combining specimens from several people and conducting one laboratory test on the “pool” of specimens.
- If the pool is negative, the individuals whose specimens were in the pool are considered negative for COVID-19.
- If the pool is positive, each specimen is re-tested individually to determine which individual(s) are infected with COVID-19.
- What is surveillance testing?
- Surveillance testing is testing conducted on asymptomatic individuals in a given population on a recurring basis.
KDHE Support in Case of Outbreak
KDHE will continue to support long-term care facilities in case of an outbreak. The KDHE team will reach out once an outbreak is identified to provide additional support.
- For additional information on changes to testing at long-term care facilities, view this letter.
- Other questions: Email the Kansas Health and Environmental Labs (KHEL)