State to start mass COVID-19 testing at nursing homes and assisted living facilities

State health officials announced Thursday that they will start mass COVID-19 testing of some of the state’s most vulnerable population.  State Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said that starting next week, mass testing will be done on residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the state.

Malsam-Rysdon said that doing this aggressive testing is important in trying to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The state health secretary said that the first week of testing will focus on nursing homes and assisted living facilities in counties where there has been substantial community spread of COVID-19.  Malsam-Rysdon said they will then move to facilities in other counties in the state, followed by additional separate assisted living and other congregate care facilities. She said that staff at the facilities will collect the specimens for testing and the state will cover the cost of processing them. 

Malsam-Rysdon said another area where the state will do mass testing is in tribal communities, and then also in some essential and critical infrastructure within the state.