Louisiana gets tougher with nursing homes over virus testing

New Orleans

By MELINDA DESLATTE

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana health department has toughened its coronavirus testing requirements for nursing homes. The agency is telling the facilities that they must regularly test residents and workers for COVID-19 or face financial penalties from the state. The bolstering of protections for the state’s most vulnerable comes after some Louisiana nursing homes didn’t follow earlier voluntary testing standards recommended by the state Department of Health. Several facilities refused to provide any information about their testing plans to the agency. Nursing homes account for more than 40% of Louisiana’s COVID-19 deaths. Louisiana fell short of its goal to test all nursing home residents and workers by the end of May.