The Centers for Disease and Prevention has updated the scenarios for when long-term care providers should conduct confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PRC) COVID-19 testing after receiving initial point-of-care antigen test results.
The guidance calls on providers to perform confirmatory testing on asymptotic people following positive antigen test results. Confirmatory testing should also be performed on symptomatic people who received negative antigen test results, as well.The American Health Care Association detailed the changes to the CDC guidance on Wednesday.
“If a confirmatory nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] is performed within two days, people should be assumed to be infectious until the confirmatory test results are completed,” the CDC guidance explained.
“For instance, in general, if a symptomatic resident tests presumptive negative by antigen test and a NAAT is performed, the resident should remain in transmission-based precautions until the NAAT result is available. Similarly, if an asymptomatic healthcare personnel [is] working in a long-term care facility without an outbreak tests antigen positive, they should be excluded from work until a negative NAAT is available,” the guidance states.
The CDC also noted that the testing recommendations are directed towards nursing homes but can be applied to other long-term care facilities, such as assisted living.
In other business, new CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., announced on Wednesday that the agency has started a comprehensive review of all existing guidance related to COVID-19.
“Wherever needed, this guidance will be updated so that people can make decisions and take action based upon the best available evidence,” Walensky said in a statement.