Employee (staff) testing

Q: Can staff refuse testing?

A: DHHS notes that staff have the right to refuse testing. For questions relating to whether testing can be a condition of employment, consult your legal counsel. See also CDC FAQs on Testing in Nursing Homes (scroll down to that section).

Q: Does insurance cover testing?

A: See the NH Insurance Department Guidance on COVID-19 coverage. It states: “Health insurance companies must provide coverage–prior to application of any deductible and without cost-sharing–of the initial health care provider visit and FDA-authorized COVID-19 testing for those who meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for testing.”

For any staff on Medicare, testing is covered.

Surveillance testing is covered by the state.

Q: How do I get testing for my staff?

If a staff member shows symptoms and/or needs testing outside the surveillance testing program, or if the surveillance program does not apply to your facility, facilities may schedule tests using this form. See above for insurance and Medicare questions.

Q: Should staff who have been COVID positive be retested?

Below is historical information. Information may be useful but some NH DHHS guidance is no longer in force. For current guidance, please see Reopening, and visit the NH DHHS COVID-19 web page for Long Term Care Facilities.

A: For those who have had COVID: If they recovered within the last 90 days and are asymptomatic, they may be exempted from surveillance testing. See NH DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control Reopening Guidance for Long-term Care Facilities (LCTFs) (note this is a historical document, this guidance no longer in effect as of 5/6/21) testing guidance.

See p. 13 of this CMS guidance. For information about why this is the case, see this CDC article.

For those who are at least 14 days beyond their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine: they may be exempted from surveillance testing, see NH DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control Reopening Guidance for Long-term Care Facilities (LCTFs) (note this is a historical document, this guidance no longer in effect as of 5/6/21) testing guidance.

AND

Q: Do people who were COVID positive more than 90 days ago need to be retested?

A: Yes. For information about why this is the case, see this CDC article.

Q: What are the CDC and other agency recommendations about testing staff?

A: NH’s Department of Public Health Services reopening guidance (note this is a historical document, this guidance no longer in effect as of 5/6/21), including screening recommendations and surveillance testing, has been developed to operate in phases, in accordance with CMS guidelines.

If you want to dig into other testing recommendations, see Testing Guidelines for Nursing Homes and FAQs on Testing in Nursing Homes (scroll down to this section) at the CDC website. 

Q: What are the different kinds of COVID-19 tests?

A: See the Texas Department of State Health Services handout, COVID-19 Testing: PCR, Antigen, and Antibody Tests Explained.

Q: What is the process for reporting if an employee develops symptoms?

A: Immediately report any suspected cases to the DPHS Public Health Professional on call at 603-271-4496After hours call 603-271-5300 to report. Also, schedule a test.

Q: What should we do when someone on the staff tests positive?

A: See NH DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control guidance for facilities with staff who test positive for COVID-19, as well as CDC’s Return to Work Criteria for Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Interim Guidance)

See also: Surveillance testing

This page updated 5/20/21

Information is changing rapidly as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves. Please take the links on these pages, especially the NH DHHS, which coordinates the COVID-19 response in our state, and other public health resources such as your local public health department, the CDC and WHO to find the latest guidance and recommendations.

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