On October 30, 2020, NACCHO hosted a webinar to review the CDC’s Considerations for Use of SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Testing in Nursing Homes and FAQ. Testing is a critical component of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and local public health plays an important role in conducting, collecting, and analyzing testing data, as well as supporting community and healthcare partners in their administration of tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. Antigen tests are one tool in this arsenal and are available as point-of-care diagnostics, with a rapid turnaround time. Antigen tests can be useful in the swift implementation of infection prevention and control strategies and federal officials have distributed these rapid, point of care tests to thousands of nursing homes across the country. As local public health departments continue surveillance efforts and outbreak response for COVID-19, understanding the utility of antigen tests and how they can be effectively employed, particularly in nursing homes, is crucial.
During the webinar, Dr. Sujan Reddy, Medical Officer, CDC Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion discussed current CDC guidance on antigen testing in nursing homes, described recommendations for use of antigen testing in nursing homes, and responded to local health department questions.