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New Hampshire Health Agency To Expand Testing At Long-Term Care Facilities

New Hampshire State Epidemiologist Dr. Ben Chan says the state's health agency is changing its approach to testing at long-term care facilities.

Until this week, the state encouraged facilities to only test those who were symptomatic.

"What we want to do is increase testing to move from more of a general prevention standpoint to a containment strategy going in and testing all the residents because we know there's the possibility of asymptomatic or presymptomatic transmission," he says.

Chan says this expanded testing can inform how facilities manage an outbreak. That might involve isolating people who have tested positive at a facility and identifying staff who may be symptomatic to prevent them from treating someone who doesn't have COVID-19.

The state's new testing strategy comes as multiple facilities across the state are battling outbreaks of COVID-19, with one new cluster at a Manchester facility for individuals with developmental disabilities announced Friday.

This story is a production of the New England News Collaborative and was originally published by New Hampshire Public Radio.

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