A new update released late on Sept. 8 by the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) said that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has posted a new Excel file dated 9-8-20 that flags positive test rates in counties. 

Each county highlighted in green, yellow and red should be used to dictate a provider’s routine testing frequency of staff that is based on data from Aug. 27 – Sept. 2. Rates of county positivity are posted  here.  AHCA/NCAL told providers that the new file should be used in place of the prior file in setting routine testing frequency. 

Providers should note the following while reviewing the new file:
  • ​Green counties must test staff 1 x per month 
  • Yellow counties must test 1 x per week  
  • Red counties must test 2 x per week 
If a provider’s county increased in color, as in increased in the severity of the virus’s spread, then a facility should change its testing frequency immediately. “If your county decreased in color, you must continue to test at last week’s frequency until you have two county reports at a lower color,” AHCA/NCAL said.  

CMS has said it will post an updated file on the first and third Mondays of each month.