VDH Updated Guidance on Testing for COVID-19

Updated 6/4/20

Testing capacity at commercial, private, and hospital laboratories performing SARS-CoV-2 testing continues to increase in Virginia. VDH recommendations for prioritizing testing are summarized in the table below. If testing in the private sector is not available, clinicians may request testing for patients at DCLS by contacting the local health department.

Table 1. VDH Recommendations for prioritizing SARS-CoV-2 testing

 

Private/Commercial Lab Testing

Public Health Lab Testing

High Priority

  • Hospitalized patients*
  • Healthcare workers and first responders with COVID-19 symptoms*
  • Un- or underinsured persons with COVID-19 symptoms*
  • Residents and workers with COVID-19 symptoms* in, or newly arriving to, congregate settings (e.g., long-term care facilities, prisons, jails, or behavioral health facilities)
  • Contact and outbreak investigations
  • Residents and workers with COVID-19 symptoms* in, or newly arriving to, congregate settings (e.g., long-term care facilities, prisons,  jails, or behavioral health facilities)
  • Un- or underinsured persons with COVID-19 symptoms*

Priority

  • Persons with COVID-19 symptoms*
  • Persons without symptoms
    o Close contacts of cases**
    o Prioritized by clinicians based on
    their best clinical judgment (e.g.
    for medical procedures)
  • Public health monitoring, including point prevalence surveys
  • Sentinel surveillance and seroprevalence studies
  • Community testing clinics

*Description of symptoms associated with COVID-19. Atypical presentations have been described, and older adults and persons with medical comorbidities may have delayed presentation of fever and respiratory symptoms.

**A close contact is any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before the person became sick (or 2 days before specimen collection if asymptomatic) until the person was isolated.

Submitters using public health testing must be willing and capable of collecting and packaging specimens, and either delivering them to a DCLS courier site or shipping them via commercial courier (e.g, FedEx). 

For assistance with point prevalence surveys, please contact your local health department for assistance.  Please do not submit requests for point prevalence surveys through the online COVID-19 Testing Request Form.

Clinicians should utilize the online morbidity reporting portal to report suspected and confirmed cases as soon as they are identified. Please include in your report signs, symptoms, and other critical epidemiologic fields (e.g., race and ethnicity). Clinicians need to submit only one report per patient, at the earliest point COVID-19 is suspected.

Page last reviewed: June 4, 2020