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CMS Updates County COVID-19 Positivity Data

Posted Sep 3, 20202 min Read


On September 3, 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 newly published file should be used to begin compliance with the CMS testing mandate as the data from today was published on 9/2/2020, the same date the CMS testing mandate became legally effective.  Last week’s data should not be used as it was published before the effective date of the rule.  This analysis has been confirmed with ISDH.

There are seven counties in Indiana that are above 10% positivity in this week’s file.  The following counties must being twice-weekly COVID-19 testing data:

  • Daviess
  • Elkhart
  • Martin
  • Newton
  • Orange
  • St. Joseph
  • Sullivan

To reiterate, the file from August 27, 2020 should be disregarded for purposes of complying with the CMS testing mandate.  Routine testing is to begin according to Table 1 in CMS QSO 20-38.  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