COVID-19 Testing and Retesting Criteria

COVID-19 Testing Criteria:

For COVID-19 testing, a patient must have a fever (>100.4F) and any of the following risk factors or conditions:

  1. International travel in the last 14 days before symptoms onset.
  2. Exposure to a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 individual in the last 14 days before symptoms onset.
  3. Shortness of breath.
  4. Nausea/vomiting.
  5. Dysgeusia (lack or alteration of taste).
  6. Anosmia (lack or alteration of smell).
  7. No alternate diagnosis to explain presentation of relevant symptoms.

If the patient has none of the above, COVID-19 testing is not recommended. If you still suspect COVID-19, please contact the advisory group for testing approval.

COVID-19 Retesting Criteria:

For COVID-19 retesting:

  • If initial testing included both negative nasopharyngeal swab and sputum, then repeat testing is discouraged.
  • If initial testing only consisted of nasopharyngeal swab and the patient has continued/progressive illness and is now able to produce sputum, then repeat testing with nasopharyngeal swab and sputum is suggested.
  • Note: DO NOT induce sputum for testing. Only submit sputum if the patient is able to expectorate the sample.

 COVID-19 Retesting for Patient Release and/or to Discharge Isolation

Review the following for a patient with confirmed positive COVID-19 testing and whose symptoms:

  • Did not resolve:
    • Do not retest patient for COVID-19.
    • If patient is stable and should be discharged:
      • Notify the health department.
      • Then discharge the patient with instruction to self-quarantine until symptoms resolve.
      • Instruct the patient to contact their local health department after symptoms resolve for further instructions.
  • Resolved:
    • Collect two COVID-19 samples for testing, 24 hours apart.
    • Follow COVID-19 discontinuation of isolation algorithm for guidance.

Note: The COVID-19 Lab Order is now updated to reflect testing criteria.

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