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COVID-19 Testing Strategies

Posted May 10, 20202 min Read

Regulatory & Clinical

During last week’s webinar with Dr. Dan Rusyniak (click here and choose the May 7 recording), ISDH has opened COVID-19 testing sites around the state (also called Optum testing sites).  By the end of next week there will be 50 testing sites around the state.  To find these locations please visit the Indiana COVID-19 Testing Site webpage.  Healthcare workers are prioritized for these testing sites and  those staff in long-term care facilities with symptoms would be able to access testing through any of these sites.  If facilities have employees who need testing and cannot get it rapidly done by their primary care doctor please register for testing at the ISDH/Optum testing sites at:

Dr. Rusyniak also discussed a change in strategy regarding long term care facility (nursing facilities and assisted living) testing that incorporates these sites, other private lab capacity the long term care has itself facilitated, and the existing ISDH Strike Teams and COVID-19 Plus Teams.

Changes in the ISDH testing strategy for long term care as testing becomes more available are as follows:

  • The ISDH/Optum testing sites will become the primary testing resource for long term care staff as the ISDH transitions away from the ISDH Strike Teams providing the testing service.
  • Long term care facilities should continue to develop relationships with labs for testing capacity and the process to execute testing of residents and staff.
  • ISDH Strike Teams will serve as a safety net for outbreak identification and can be requested at
  • ISDH COVID-19 Plus Teams will also continue to provide testing supplies to facilities with newly identified positives to facilitate resident cohorting.
  • As testing expand, long term care facilities are encouraged to perform their own point of prevalence testing and repeat testing of previous negatives all in accordance with CDC guidance:  Testing for COVID-10 in Nursing Homes.  Again, ISDH COVID-19 Plus Teams will be able to supplement shortages of testing supplies.

It is important to note that the above strategy is a forward thinking approach and that in the interim facilities should continue to use ISDH Strike Teams and COVID-19 Plus Teams for initial testing, infection control assistance, and cohort testing.

About the Author

Zach Cattell, President, Indiana Health Care Association