Emergency rules issued Wednesday by Florida health officials now require nursing home and assisted living workers to be tested for COVID-19 every two weeks.
Those who don’t comply could have their licenses revoked or face administrative fines.
The rules were welcomed by the Florida Health Care Association, which represents providers. The group said it looks forward to working with state and local officials on how to ensure providers have access to testing and the costs are covered by the state.
“We know that ongoing testing is an effective way to prevent spread in our care centers, since the virus can be present even when someone doesn’t show any symptoms,” the group said in a statement.
“Our goal is to help make this process go smoothly and ensure that our care centers have access to timely results, so they can continue making important decisions that help protect the vulnerable residents entrusted to their care,” it added.
The state’s other major nursing home group, LeadingAge Florida, called for testing results to be made available as quickly as possible, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
More than 1,500 long-term care residents and workers in Florida had died from COVID-19, according to local reports late last week.