May 12, 2020
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PHCA Encouraged by Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Approval of Universal Testing for Long-Term Care Residents, Staff

Priority testing will help providers mitigate the spread of the virus and allocate critical resources to protect residents and staff

HARRISBURG, PA (May 12, 2020) – Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA), today released the following statement after the Department of Health’s announcement regarding universal, recurring testing in long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania:

“On behalf of Pennsylvania’s long-term care providers, their frontline workers and the residents they serve, PHCA has consistently advocated for universal, recurring testing in nursing homes, assisted living communities and personal care homes. Our neighboring states, including Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, and New York, have prioritized testing for long-term care residents and workers, whether they exhibit symptoms or not. In the absence of a vaccine, this is the best method to address and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

“We are encouraged by Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine’s announcement today, which outlined a plan to begin universal testing of residents and workers in Pennsylvania’s long-term care facilities. Through this broader testing effort, providers can act far more quickly to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while also utilizing testing data to better determine where critical resources should be allocated to protect residents and staff.

“We look forward to working with the Department of Health to implement this testing plan as soon as possible. Time is of the essence for our state’s most vulnerable population.”

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