(NBC NEWS) — West Virginia’s effort to test all residents and staff of the state’s nursing homes for the coronavirus illness COVID-19 began Monday, the governor said.
The effort has been called the first of its kind in the nation. Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order mandating the testing Friday. Nursing home residents can be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Justice said he believes that testing could be completed within a week.
“We’re going to have real, live data that we hope will help us to isolate and treat people, even those who may not have symptoms yet,” he said in a statement.
NBC News reported last week that coronavirus deaths in long-term care facilities across the country had risen to 5,670, according to state health data. The rise was reported to have been driven by huge increases in hard-hit states like New York, where more than 2 percent of nursing home residents have died of the virus.