COVID-19 Testing Update

By Director Barbara Palmer

As you are aware, APD has issued Emergency Rule 65GER20-1, which requires all APD-licensed homes and APD-operated residential facilities to conduct Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing of their staff every two weeks. This measure is consistent with orders previously issued by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) related to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. This action is being taken in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, quickly identify who has the disease, and ensure staff and residents receive the care needed.

We are working with our state agency partners such as the Department of Health, AHCA, and the Division of Emergency Management in the fight against COVID-19. APD is also working with Curative, Inc., who is providing and processing the tests, as well as tracking the test results, so we can do everything possible to keep staff and residents safe. Curative has been able to receive samples and return results usually within 24-48 hours.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance for all of us to adopt protective measures to prevent acquiring this disease, as well as the effectiveness of early screening, testing, and treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided us with simple steps we can all take to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our most vulnerable citizens safe. Remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds, practice social distancing staying six feet away from others, and wear a face mask. Please check the COVID-19 page on our APD website for the most up-to-date information on protecting yourself and those you care about from this disease.

I am grateful for all the hard work of our APD staff and providers, and for the support of the customers and families we serve. I wish that you and those you care about can stay safe. We truly are in this together and must continue to work together every day.