Clinicians considering testing of persons with possible COVID-19 should continue to work with their local and state health departments to coordinate testing through public health laboratories, or use COVID-19 diagnostic testing, authorized by the Food and Drug Administration under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) through clinical laboratories. Increasing testing capacity will allow clinicians to consider COVID-19 testing for a wider group of symptomatic patients.
Clinicians should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. Most patients with confirmed COVID-19 have developed fever1 and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing). Priorities for testing include:
Other considerations that may guide testing are epidemiologic factors such as the occurrence of local community transmission of COVID-19 infections in a jurisdiction. Clinicians are strongly encouraged to test for other causes of respiratory illness.
Ensure optimal care options for all hospitalized patients, lessen the risk of nosocomial infections, and maintain the integrity of the healthcare system
Ensure that those who are at highest risk of complication of infection are rapidly identified and appropriately triaged
As resources allow, test individuals in the surrounding community of rapidly increasing hospital cases to decrease community spread, and ensure health of essential workers