COVID-19 Testing: Resource Roundup and MDH Upcoming Changes
Posted on June 30, 2022 by Kari Everson
Testing residents and staff for COVID-19 became a standard throughout the pandemic, and guidance frequently changed, which gives way to uncertainty on current guidance and recommendations for testing requirements, test interpretation, and test procurement.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) maintains a Long-Term Care-specific testing website where testing information and guidance are collected. Testing continues to be an area that generates frequent questions from members. In February, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) updated the Antigen Testing guidance for long-term care facilities directing settings on the testing of symptomatic residents and healthcare personnel (HCP), asymptomatic residents and HCP, and how close contact, exposure, and staffing affects testing processes. The CDC flowsheet on antigen tests remains the best resource for Interpretation of antigen test results and direction on when confirmatory NAAT tests are necessary.
Beginning July 1, MDH anticipates the continued provision of several testing resources. Final decisions are still pending, and the Department will provide updates if anything changes. For now, the resources should be:
- BinaxNOW antigen tests for outbreak and routine testing
- CUE Molecular tests for outbreak and routine testing
- Mayo Clinic Laboratory PCR testing for outbreak only
If members choose to continue to use Mayo Clinic laboratory for surveillance testing, there will be a laboratory services contract required between the member and Mayo Clinic laboratories and will not be subject to state funding. The contracts for members are still under negotiation, and MDH will update settings when those contracts are available. The contracting process should start now by calling the Mayo lab inquiry call center at 800-533-1710. Other inquiries may be sent to Peter Duda.
There is an upcoming testing resource webinar offered by the MDH/Midwest Coordination Center on July 11 at 1 p.m. You can find the join link and additional information below: https://minnesotaevents.webex.com/minnesotaevents/j.php?MTID=m17a805fb54b49659a5dd7161d5359073 Webinar number: 2559 959 4697 Webinar password: TestAttend (83782883 from phones) Join by phone +1-408-418-9388 United States Toll Access code: 255 995 94697.