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May 10, 2020

COVID-19 Resident Testing Q+A

As you should have been alerted, the Department of Health (DOH) was at Cobble Hill to swab our residents for COVID-19. You may have questions about what that means for your loved one and we have created this list of questions and answers for you to address that.

Why is the Department of Health (DOH) coming to swab the entire facility?

  • The DOH is swabbing all facility residents in NYS. Because nursing home residents are at such high risk of contracting COVID-19 and those with COVID-19 can be asymptomatic, swabbing is one way to attempt to continue to better cohort those that do and do not have COVID-19.

When and how will we be notified of results?

  • By now everyone with a positive result should have been notified. We will continue to notify appropriate parties with additional positive results as we continue testing. 

What does a positive test result mean?

  • It means that the COVID-19 virus was detected in the residents airway. 
  • It cannot tell us when they got the virus or if they remain infectious. 
  • If a resident tests positive, they will be moved to a COVID positive unit. 

Why is my loved one still testing positive even though they no longer have symptoms?

  • We are hearing from our nursing home association that they’re seeing more and more residents are testing positive for longer periods of time. There is no strong data to tell us how long someone will test positive for. 

What happens if my loved one tested positive/negative?

  • If your loved one tests positive and they are not already on our COVID positive unit they will need to be moved to assure we are able to protect all residents. This will be true even if your loved one is asymptomatic. 
  • If your loved one tests negative, they will remain with other residents that have also tested negative. We may continue to test your loved one from time to time as clinically appropriate to assure they remain negative.

Will you tell us the results of everyone?

  • We will update everyone of any new positive results or deaths as we have been on our website daily (www.cobblehill.org). 

How did my loved one get it?

  • It’s hard to say how or when your loved one became exposed to COVID-19. There has been sustained and widespread community transmission in New York City and in all healthcare facilities.

Is there any treatment? 

  • Treatment for COVID-19 is mainly supportive care at this time. There are some experimental medications and treatments for symptom relief.