COVID-19 County Positivity Data

CMS Revised COVID-19 Testing Requirements

On Sept. 10, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a revised memo (QSO-20-38-NH-REVISED) that changes some of the requirements for Routine Staff and Outbreak COVID-19 Testing in nursing facilities.

  • The frequency of Routine Staff Testing at a nursing facility will no longer be based on the color of the CMS weekly county positivity rate. It will instead be based on the calculation of the facility’s county transmission by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).
  • Click here to access the CDC’s COVID-19 Integrated County View. To find the color of your facility’s county transmission rate, enter ‘Nebraska’ and your facility’s county in the relevant drop boxes.
  • You should then be able to see a map of Nebraska and the color of each county, as well as data on COVID-19 related testing, case, hospitalization, vaccination, and death rates for your facility’s county.
  • The memo also offers facilities two options to conduct Outbreak Testing, through either a contract tracing or broad-based testing approach.

Access to County COVID-19 Test Positivity Rate

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updates its COVID-19 test positivity rate by county on a regular basis. Click HERE to access data for all counties in the United States (click on link in the COVID-19 Testing section).

Please Note:

During the week of Sept. 14, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made the following updates to its county percent test positivity characterization methodology.

  1. In order to use a greater amount of data to calculate percent test positivity and improve the stability of values, the indicator was expanded to include 14 days of data instead of seven days.
  2. Further, because there are instances where counties with high test positivity rates may reflect low testing levels rather than high levels of viral transmission, additional criteria were added to re-assign counties with low testing volume to lower nursing home staff testing tiers (i.e., communities with low levels of testing and high test positivity (>10%) are reassigned to either yellow or green testing tiers).


  • GREEN = Counties with test percent positivity at <5.0% OR with <20 tests in past 14 days
  • YELLOW = Counties with test percent positivity 5.0%-10.0% OR with <500 tests and <2000 tests/100k and >10% positivity over 14 days
  • RED = Counties with >10.0% and not meeting the criteria for “Green” or “Yellow”

Test positivity is rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent before classifying.

Nebraska County Test Positivity Rates: