Abbott announces partnership with private health company for nursing home, assisted living facility COVID-19 testing

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FILE – In this May 20, 2020, file photo, Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurse Lee Cherie Booth performs a coronavirus test outside the Salt Lake County Health Department in Salt Lake City. Public health officials have said robust testing for the coronavirus is essential to safely lifting stay-at-home orders and business closures, but states are creating confusion in the way they are reporting the data. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Governor Greg Abbott announced Friday that the State of Texas is partnering with Omnicare, a CVS Health company, to provide COVID-19 testing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the state.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the partnership “will increase COVID-19 testing in our assisted living facilities and nursing homes and help us protect vulnerable Texans from COVID-19.”

“This partnership will provide on-site same-day testing and results for both facility staff and their residents,” the statement said.

Abbott called the collaboration between public and private entities “crucial to ramping up testing in Texas and mitigating the spread of this virus—especially among our most vulnerable populations.”

“At Omnicare, we are continuously exploring solutions to directly address availability and access to COVID-19 testing for the long-term-care industry,” said Jim Love, Omnicare President. “We recognize the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on these critically important healthcare facilities and their highly vulnerable patient population, and we are determined to be part of the solution as demand for testing continues to grow in this sector.”

The test sites are intended to help enable the state’s goal of processing up to 100,000 tests in the first month alone, according to Abbott’s statement.

Testing in assisted living facilities began Thursday. State testing teams completed testing of all nursing home staff and residents in June.

Omnicare will begin testing in nursing homes next week.

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