Governor Orders Universal Testing Of Md. Nursing Home Patients, Staff

He says it will help stop the spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes.



Annapolis, Md (KM) In order to help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths  at Maryland nursing homes, Governor Larry Hogan says he’s issued an executive order requiring universal  testing for residents and staff. The Governor made this announcement during a news conference Wednesday in Annapolis.

“In addition, the executive order requires all nursing homes to have a physician, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant or registered nurse evaluate all residents on a daily basis,” he said.

Any employee of a nursing home who tests positive for the COVID-19 virus will be placed in isolation.

Governor Hogan said nursing homes account for 19% of the total positive cases of the coronavirus in Maryland, as well as 46% of the deaths in the state from the virus.

Part of the executive order, Hogan says, will require nursing homes to inform patients and staff about  an COVID-19 infection. “It is heart wrenching enough that families can’t visit their loved ones. But it’s even worse when they can’t get information about what is happening inside these facilities,” he said. “Nursing homes will be required to keep families informed on a regular basis.”

The executive order also mandates cooperation and compliance by nursing homes with the state’s strike teams, which can be called to these facilities when they are overwhelmed.

Related to that, nursing homes are required to develop emergency surge staffing teams in the even of an outbreak. They will be assisted by a bridge teams “which will provide emergency clinical staffing to nursing homes which are experiencing a crisis,”: say Hogan. “Each bridge team is composed of a registered nurse and five to seven staffing aides sufficient to care for up to 100 nursing home residents per shift.”

“We have been and will continue to take aggressive actions to address the spread of COVID-19 in Maryland nursing homes,” says Governor Hogan. “Targeting and containing these outbreaks and clusters is critically important to our state’s recovery efforts.”


By Kevin McMfanus