COVID-19 Testing Works

August 18, 2020 / By admin / No Comments

By Harold Spitzer, Chair Mary Wade Board of Trustees

From the first protective advice of coughing into your sleeves until we arrived at universal testing, nothing was stopping the spread of the Covid 19 virus.  Besides hospitals, the worst areas hit were nursing homes.  At Mary Wade we were the first nursing home in CT to test all of our residents and staff.  As a result, we were able to get control of the virus.  We were able to cohort and quarantine to the point that now we are testing negative for all of our population.  Then the CDC decreed that any nursing home having all negative testing for two testing periods in a row would no longer be reimbursed for testing. 

Given the fact that it was testing that allowed us to maintain a safe environment, it is incredibly short-sighted to now limit the one major factor in controlling the spread of the disease. Think about the logic of this for a moment. Now that our testing has put the disease under control, we are no longer supporting the testing that worked.  Very few nursing homes, and especially the non-profits, can afford to pay for the testing themselves. Hopefully one of the vaccines we read about will work or the saliva tests will become usable and inexpensive.  But until that time, we still have a disease that doesn’t follow the rules and is always one step away from our doors.  Testing and then acting quickly on the results has been the main method of keeping this virus under control.  The government must reconsider its stance so that we can all trust in the safety of our institutions.

Hal S. Spitzer, Board Chair of Mary Wade


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