Wisconsin is Forming Partnerships with New Labs to Support COVID-19 Testing in Nursing Homes and ICFs/IID

DHS Logo Original 07/11/2018

Division of Quality Assurance: Notifications & Updates

Attn: All Wisconsin Nursing Homes and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

Wisconsin is Forming Partnerships with New Labs to Support COVID-19 Testing in Nursing Homes and ICFs/IID

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is pleased to announce that Accelerated Labs in Milwaukee and Molecular Lab in Washington State will support COVID-19 testing in nursing homes and ICFs/IID. DHS continues to work to bring on additional labs to support ongoing testing of nursing homes and ICFs/IID staff.

Each contract between the State and the lab offers a finite number of tests per week. To ensure timely results and operations, DHS will assign relationships between a new lab and each facility. Transition to these new labs will occur throughout August and beyond as we work with the labs to determine their operational capabilities.

The DHS Response Team will coordinate with the Bureau of Nursing Home Resident Care (BNHRC), Division of Quality Assurance (DQA), to identify facilities to connect with the new labs and provide bi-weekly staff testing. Facilities will be selected based on size, location, outbreak status, and community disease burden to determine the initial lab assignments. The primary focus of the initial lab assignments is to support a smooth transition and adequate turnaround times for test results.

DHS will partner additional facilities with these or other labs to ensure that their staff and residents have access to testing as quickly as possible. The regional BNHRC, DQA office will notify facilities about their lab relationship and onboarding process. Please do not contact the new labs until instructed to do so by DQA.

The transition of facilities to new labs will take time to fully implement. While you are waiting to be contacted, please continue to coordinate with your local public health office and use the DHS testing web portal to report and schedule outbreak testing and to request testing supplies.

DHS is committed to ensuring that staff and residents in nursing homes and ICFs/IID have access to testing. As more labs sign on, we can continue to ensure that everyone in Wisconsin who needs a test gets a test.

If you have questions about this information, please email WICOVIDTest@WI.gov