Coronavirus testing requirements added for Michigan homes for aged, foster care facilities

Testing requirements are similar to the existing mandate for nursing homes
New coronavirus testing requirements for Michigan adult foster care homes and homes for the aged.
New coronavirus testing requirements for Michigan adult foster care homes and homes for the aged.
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 4:29 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services expanded coronavirus testing requirements on Wednesday to include all homes for the aged and adult foster care homes with 13 or more residents.

The same testing requirements have been in place since June 15 for skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes.

State health officials are monitoring more than 100 COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities and older people are at much higher risk for serious illness or death from coronavirus.

“COVID targets individuals who live in group care, and it’s our job as Michiganders to protect them,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “Less COVID in the community means less COVID in group homes, so each of us helps when we wear masks, watch our distance and wash hands. But these homes also need a second line of defense, and that defense is regular testing for residents, staff and visitors.”

The following COVID-19 testing requirements will be in place beginning on Nov. 18 at homes for the aged and Nov. 24 at adult foster care facilities:

  • Initial test for all residents and staff.
  • Test any resident or staff member with coronavirus symptoms or suspected exposure to the illness.
  • Ongoing weekly testing of residents and staff until 14 days after the last positive test is reported.
  • Weekly testing of all staff in counties at risk levels A through E on the MI Safe Start map.
  • Testing of all new or returning residents (unless they were tested less than three days earlier).
  • Testing all newly hired staff on their start date or less than three days earlier.

Adult foster care homes must test residents before they leave and before they return from Thanksgiving visits. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued another order on Oct. 21 requiring COVID-19 tests for all visitors to long-term care facilities, as well.

The state is providing testing supplies for all facilities and a new system for refilling supplies directly from the federal government. For facilities that develop their own testing program, the state will provide reimbursement for expenses not covered by insurance.

Wednesday’s order came under the Michigan Public Health Code of 1978, which allows the Department of Health and Human Services to impose mandates aimed at controlling the spread of an epidemic.

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