In an excellent article, Asymptomatic Transmission, the Achilles’ Heel of Current Strategies to Control Covid-19, the venerable New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) offers a strategy for SNFs to combat the Covid-19 pandemic that’s killing their residents:
- Expand Covid-19 testing to include asymptomatic persons residing or working in SNFs.
- Isolate infected residents and care for them appropriately.
- Quarantine exposed residents to minimize the risk of spread.
- Cohort residents and resume some group activities in nonoutbreak settings.
- Do routine rRT-PCR testing in addition to symptomatic screening of new residents before entry.
- Apply conservative guidelines for discontinuation of isolation.
- Periodically re-test long-term residents.
- Periodically rRT-PCR screen and surgically mask all staff.
- Extend these recommendations to all US-based SNFs.
These are excellent recommendations. What are the chances that they will be implemented as legislation? I’m not holding my breath.