CDC Program Expands Free COVID-19 Testing to Assisted Living Facilities

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

On July 27, 2022 the CDC increased access to testing via Operation Expanded Testing.  Assisted living centers now have access to free COVID-19 testing for their staff and residents through December 31, 2022. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Operation Expanded Testing (OpET) program expanded access to free testing nationwide to now include assisted living communities, which previously targeted schools, shelters, and correctional facilities.

Testing under OpET is available at no-cost to providers and can be used on staff or residents. You can receive up to a four-week supply at a time, and there is no cap on the number of tests that can be used in this program.

How it Works: 

OpET coordinates with four regional coordination hubs to provide pooled PCR tests (i.e., laboratory-based Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests [NAAT]), with specimen collection supplies, shipping materials, laboratory testing, and results reporting. The provider must contribute staff to collect specimens.

How to Enroll:

To enroll your assisted living into OpET’s no-cost screening testing program:

  1. ​Identify your facility’s region and coordination hub.
  1. Visit your regional coordination hub’s website.
    1. Hub 1 – West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Marshall Islands, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Palau, and Washington
    2. Hub 2 – Midwest:Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
    3. Hub 3 – Northeast: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia
    4. Hub 4 – South: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas
  2. Enroll your assisted living community. 

Visit the Operation Expanded Testing website to learn more.  Be sure to check out the Questions section of that website.

[NOTE: This blog is a combination of the information provided by CDC (hyperlink in 1st paragraph) as well as the information posted on the AHCA/NCAL website on August 3, 2022.]