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[September 17, 2020] CMS Updates County COVID-19 Positivity Data | Sept. 3-9, 2020

Posted Sep 17, 20203 min Read


On September 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a new COVID-19 positivity rate data file that is used to determine testing frequency for nursing facility staff (click here for the website to download the file).  This data is for the period September 3-9There are three counties in Indiana that are above 10% positivity in this week’s file.  Facilities in the following counties must begin twice-weekly COVID-19 testing:


  • Delaware
  • Martin
  • Monroe


Please note: CMS will be releasing the county positivity data on a weekly basis which will not always be on the same day.  CMS will also continue to modify and update the method to classify a county as green, yellow or red. Nursing facilities must have a plan and process to check the CMS data weekly. It does NOT need to be checked more often and changing the frequency of testing only needs to happen when they check, not immediately after CMS updates the data. 

If your facility is in a county that was above 10% or 5% in the prior week, but that is below either of those thresholds this week your facility must continue to test at the higher frequency for 2 more weeks (10% and above required twice-weekly testing; 5% to 10% requires weekly testing). 

Outbreak testing of all staff and residents should occur after any one positive in the facility and continue every 3 to 7 days until no new positive results occur.  Please review IHCA’s summary of the CMS testing mandate and contact us with any questions.

A reminder, this CMS testing mandate only applies to nursing facilities and not residential care facilities/assisted living.  However, residential care facilities/assisted living should continue to test symptomatic patients and follow the ISDH Infection Control Standard Operating Procedures.

About the Author

Zach Cattell, President, Indiana Health Care Association