Asymptomatic Testing At Nursing Homes Will Be Key In Preventing Coronavirus Spread

May 26, 2020

Nursing homes are a hotspot for spreading the coronavirus as workers and short-term patients move in and out. Widespread asymptomatic testing and protection for workers could prevent a second wave from sparking in nursing homes.
Credit PJ Johnson

Nursing homes are hotspots for spreading the coronavirus. Long-term residents can more easily stay isolated from family and friends, but workers and short-term patients travel in and out of nursing home communities. Many may be asymptomatic, unknowingly providing an opportunity for the virus to enter and exit vulnerable communities. 

As of Tuesday, May 26, North Carolina nursing homes have seen at least 2,978 coronavirus cases and 406 deaths, and there have been at least 614 cases and 57 deaths at residential care facilities, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Don Taylor, a professor of public policy at Duke University, who researches aging and health systems. Taylor speaks about the need for federally funded widespread asymptomatic testing in order to curb the transmission of the virus. Taylors says the state is responsible for figuring out how to carry out testing, while private institutions must determine the best testing tools.