In September 2021, CMS issued a revised memo which specified that routine COVID-19 staff testing be based on the facility’s county level of community transmission instead of county test positivity rate. The frequency of routine staff testing was also updated.
To determine the level of community transmission, CDC and VDH recommend the use of two measures: total number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 persons in the past 7 days and the percentage of nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) including RT-PCR COVID-19 tests that are positive during the last 7 days. If the two indicators have different levels, actions corresponding to the higher threshold should be chosen.
Facilities can refer to the CDC COVID Data Tracker or the VDH COVID-19 Level of Community Transmission dashboard to find their county’s level of community transmission for testing nursing home staff. Please see additional instructions for Finding Community Transmission Levels using the CDC COVID Data Tracker.