Testing at North Central Health Care results in no positive COVID-19 cases in employees

Coronavirus in the nursing home. Pixabay photo via MGN.
Coronavirus in the nursing home. Pixabay photo via MGN.(KOLO)
Published: May. 23, 2020 at 6:56 PM CDT
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North Central Health Care (NCHC) conducted voluntary, on-site PCR COVID-19 testing for nursing homes employees to test for active Covid-19 infection on May 19.

93 employees were tested at the Wausau campus with no positive cases of COVID-19 reported. According to a press release From NCHC, 23 results from Pine Crest employees in Merrill are still pending.

The testing was conducted after the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommended on May 4 that all nursing homes in the state conduct testing for staff and residents by the end of may to get a point in time assessment of infection in facilities.

"We know that people can have mild symptoms or even be asymptomatic and test positive for COVID-19. This testing allows us to have a point in time analysis which we can use to get a sense of risk from the potential spread of infection from individuals who may have been asymptomatic at the time of testing," said Michael Loy, CEO of NCHC. "To protect those we serve and our staff, NCHC will continue to practice infection prevention precautions regardless of these test results. As recommended by the local, state and federal agencies, we will continue to restrict visitation, screen employees and residents, require face covering or face masks and require all those who are experiencing signs of illness to stay home.

NCHC will continue testing on May 26 and 27 with testing being offered to all residents at Mount View Care Center in Wausau and Pine Crest in Merrill.

All testing is voluntary. Employees and residents are not required to be showing any symptoms in order to be tested and they do not have to leave the nursing home for testing.

According to the press release, both Pine Crest and the Wausau campus have COVID-19 skilled nursing isolation units ready for use if a resident should test positive.

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