DHS COVID-19 PROVIDER GUIDANCE // ODP
ODP Announcement 20-068:
Applying Department of Health Testing Guidance for Long-Term Care
Facilities’ Residents and Healthcare Personnel to Community and Life
Providers licensed pursuant to 55 Pa.Code Chapters 6400 (Relating to Community
Homes for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability) and 6500 (Relating to Life Sharing
This announcement provides guidance to Community and Life Sharing Home providers
about how to apply COVID-19 testing guidance issued by the Pennsylvania Department
of Health (DOH).
On June 1, 2020, PA DOH released 2020 – PAHAN -509-5-29-UPD UPDATE: Testing
Guidance for COVID-19 in Long-term Care Facilities Residents and Healthcare Personnel.
This guidance is targeted to large congregate-care settings such as skilled nursing
facilities and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability
and does not specifically reference Community and Life Sharing Homes. However, some
of the guidance provided can be applied to Community and Life Sharing Homes.
Note that testing conducted as below should be implemented in addition to existing
infection prevention and control measures recommended by the DOH, including visitor
restriction, cessation of communal dining and group activities, monitoring all individuals
and staff for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and universal masking as source control.
New Confirmed Cases — Individuals
If an individual in a Community Home has a new confirmed case of COVID-19 infection,
the provider should:
• Consider all individuals and staff who have resided or worked in the home in the
48 hours prior to the individual becoming symptomatic as “potentially exposed.”
Additionally, any other persons with brief visits to the home should be
considered potentially exposed if they were within 6 feet of others in the home
for 15 minutes or more.
- If the individual was asymptomatic at the time they are confirmed with COVID-19:
- Consider all individuals and staff who have been in the home where the
confirmed COVID-19 individual was present beginning 2 days after the
positive individual’s own exposure had occurred as “potentially exposed.”
- If the individual’s date of exposure cannot be determined, consider
individuals and staff who had contact with the individual confirmed with
COVID-19 within 48 hours prior to the date of the positive test as
- Test all individuals and staff that are considered potentially exposed, as above,
for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- The above individuals should be tested even if baseline testing has been
conducted in the past.
- Do not retest any individuals or staff with a history of confirmed COVID-19.
Note: The provider should also test all individuals and staff who were potentially
- An individual is suspected (i.e. not confirmed) to have COVID-19, and
- The individual’s test results will not be available for two or more days following the
date of the test.
Occasionally, test results may return as inconclusive or indeterminant result. When this
occurs, another test should be completed as soon as possible, and the individual should
continue to be treated as potentially exposed.