September 10: COVID-19 Testing Update

By the conclusion of August, each of LifeSpire of Virginia’s four communities successfully completed the state-mandated baseline testing. As a result, the communities are moving forward with the re-opening process in the safest possible way with the goal of keeping each member of the LifeSpire of Virginia family healthy.

However, as the pandemic continues, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a new regulation regarding COVID-19 testing requirements for team members and residents in the healthcare areas.

The new regulation includes:

  • The continuation of testing for all residents or team members who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Testing residents and team members after any new case in a team member or resident arises.
  • Routine testing of healthcare team members, contractors, vendors, consultants and volunteers based on the positivity rate in the area surrounding the community for the prior week. This data will be provided from CMS.
  • This new regulation states that routine testing of residents is not recommended.

Testing required under this new regulation will begin at all LifeSpire of Virginia communities next week but may take place at different intervals at the communities. The testing frequency—monthly, weekly or twice weekly—will depend on county positivity rates, the local health departments’ recommendations and the individual community’s situation. All test results, both negative and positive, will be reported to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

The LifeSpire of Virginia team is committed to transparency when it comes to all test results. Residents, families and team members will continue to receive notification of all positive cases. Residents and families will continue to be notified on an individual basis of all resident test results regardless of the outcome. Community team members will be notified of positive test results on an individual basis. Team members who test negative will not receive a notification, however, any team member with questions or who would like confirmation of a negative test result may contact the community’s Infection Preventionist. 

This new regulation does not apply to assisted living or memory care areas. Residents and team members in these areas will be tested if they are symptomatic, in the event of an outbreak or as directed by VDH.

The extended LifeSpire of Virginia team remains vigilant in its efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into, and within, the communities, which includes the current screening process for all individuals who enter the communities. The LifeSpire of Virginia team appreciates patience, feedback and understanding as we adhere to these most recent regulations and work to keep each of the extended LifeSpire of Virginia community safe.

Questions or concerns may be submitted to [email protected] or by contacting the community leadership team directly.