RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Nursing homes now can get off the state’s COVID-19 outbreak list faster.

The state Department of Health and Human Services has shortened the length of time it takes to end an outbreak at nursing homes and other congregate living facilities.

NCDHHS says it now considers an outbreak over if 14 days have passed since the last new case was reported.

That benchmark was 28 days for the past two years.

NCDHHS says the change was made because evidence suggests COVID-19 has a shorter incubation period. It also lines up with the definition used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

It came as the number of active outbreaks at nursing homes across the state dropped slightly.

A total of 229 outbreaks were reported Tuesday, three fewer than there were a week ago — the first weekly drop since late April.

There were two more outbreaks at residential care facilities, bringing the total to 118, and the number of outbreaks at correctional facilities held steady at 13.