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Washington will test all staff and residents of long-term care facilities by end of June

Under new guidelines set by Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday, all staff and residents of long-term care facilities will be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) in June.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Inslee says the Department of Health will help long-term care facilities test all staff and residents by the end of June. 

Under the governor's new order, all residents and staff in nursing homes will be tested for COVID-19 by June 12. And all residents and staff in assisted living facilities with a memory care unit will be tested by June 26. 

Washington state will provide the testing kits and personal protective equipment needed to administer the tests. The state will also handle the laboratory costs of testing all long-term care facility staff. Gov. Inslee said residents' insurance should cover the cost of their testing. 

Long-term care facilities that have already tested all staff and residents on or after May 1 will not be required to do the testing again, Inslee said.

Residents in long-term care facilities have been at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in February. 

The first outbreak reported in the U.S. was at the Life Care Center of Kirkland, an assisted living facility, where several people were infected and dozens lost their lives to the deadly virus.

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