Massachusetts is suspending its supply of coronavirus testing kits sent to nursing homes after about 10,000 were not returned to the state.
"We have pause for the moment on sending test kits to nursing homes, given the experience recently," Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders said.
The state sent out 14,000 coronavirus test kits to nursing homes but only 4,000 were returned, causing concerns about how the tests were being conducted.
"We’re working with the nursing home industry so that we can restart up sending test kits once we understand what some of the logistic issues are," Sudders said.
The National Guard will continue testing, but for now kits will no longer be sent to nursing homes, which were able to order their own just a couple of weeks ago.
The state's mobile testing program tests both symptomatic and asymptotic residents and staff at nursing homes, rest homes, assisted living facilities and HHS group homes, hospitals and developmental disability centers. Nursing home testing has been a key part of the state’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
So far, more than 1000 people have died in nursing homes due to coronavirus-related illness, state data shows.