- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2020

The Trump administration is requiring nursing homes to quickly tell their residents about cases of coronavirus at their facilities.

Under the new guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nursing homes must inform residents and their representatives of a confirmed infection of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, within 12 hours. If three or more residents or staff develop respiratory symptoms, nursing homes must report these incidents within 72 hours.

“Nursing homes have been ground zero for COVID-19. Today’s action supports CMS’ longstanding commitment to providing transparent and timely information to residents and their families,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement Sunday. “Nursing home reporting to the CDC is a critical component of the go-forward national COVID-19 surveillance system and to efforts to reopen America.”

The new requirements are in addition to mandated reporting to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nursing homes also most provide weekly updates to residents and their representatives and report what actions the facilities are taking to reduce the spread of disease.

Outbreaks of the novel coronavirus have occurred in nursing homes, which house some of the most vulnerable people at risk of developing serious illness or dying, across the country.

Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the National Guard was being sent to test residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities with confirmed COVID-19 cases, NPR reported.

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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