Providers can now check how often they’ll be required to test staff members for COVID-19 after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released county coronavirus data last week. 

The county-level data was posted Wednesday and is based on Aug. 20-26 results, the American Health Care Association explained in a blog post.

The agency announced in late August that nursing homes would be required to test workers as part of an overall effort to identify asymptomatic staff who could be infected and spread the disease in facilities. Regulation guidance noted that routine testing of staff would be based on county-level positivity rates from the previous week.

If it is below 5%, staff should be tested once a month. If the positivity rate is between 5% and 10%, staff should be tested once a week. And if the positivity rate is over 10%, staff should be tested twice a week, according to the guidance.

The document is also color coordinated, using green, yellow and red. Nursing homes in green counties have to test staff once per month; yellow counties must test staff once per week; and staff in red counties must be tested twice per week. 

The file will be updated on the first and third Mondays of each month.