People in Yolo County working in skilled nursing facilities will now need to be tested for COVID-19 twice a week, regardless of their vaccination status.
With the rapid increase in the Omicron variant, Dr Aimee, the Yolo County health official, has issued an official health ordinance to protect skilled residents of nursing facilities who are vulnerable to serious illness, according to a statement. county press release.
Visitors to these facilities will also need to provide proof of a negative COVID test, regardless of their vaccination status. Visitors will need to present proof of a negative test one day before the visit for antigen testing or within two days for molecular testing (including PCR).
A printed document or electronic test result from a test provider or laboratory or a test performed in the presence of SNF personnel will all be accepted. Exceptions to the testing requirements will be made for compassionate care visits, such as for a dying resident.
The order will come into effect on December 27 and will remain in effect until January 31, unless Sisson orders otherwise.
The local health decree is being issued in addition to the update Order of the state public health officer announced on Dec. 22 that requires skilled workers in nursing facilities who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster dose to receive a booster by Feb. 1, 2022.
âWe have a responsibility to protect vulnerable residents of skilled nursing facilities from COVID-19,â Sisson said. âThe highly transmissible variant of Omicron will be difficult to stop once it is introduced to a skilled nursing facility, so we need to take additional steps to prevent the virus from entering those facilities in the first place. Requiring everyone entering a facility to pass a recent negative test for COVID-19 is an essential step in ensuring the safety of residents. “
Of the 266 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in Yolo County, 72 or 27% have occurred among skilled residents of care facilities.
The order will affect six Yolo County facilities located in Davis, West Sacramento and Woodland, including Alderson Convalescent Hospital, Cottonwood Post Acute Rehabilitation, Courtyard Health Care Center, River Bend Nursing Center , University Retirement Community and Woodland Skilled Nursing.
âTesting everyone entering SNFs will reduce the introduction of the virus into facilities,â the press release said. âBecause even fully immunized and stimulated individuals can be infected with the Omicron variant, checking the immunization status of staff and visitors is not sufficient to protect vulnerable residents. “
To find more COVID-19 information from Yolo County, visit yolocounty.org/covid.