Interim guidelines for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens for COVID-19 : interim guidelines for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens from persons for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
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Interim guidelines for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens for COVID-19 : interim guidelines for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens from persons for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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    Updated Feb. 26, 2021

    • The type of specimen collected when testing for current or past infection with SARS-CoV-2 is based on the test being performed and its manufacturer’s instructions. Some of the specimen types listed below will not be appropriate for all tests.

    • For initial diagnostic testing for current SARS-CoV-2 infections, CDC recommends collecting and testing an upper respiratory specimen.

    • This guidance is intended for healthcare providers or health department staff who are collecting specimens from others in a healthcare setting or at the point-of-care. Guidance for self-collection of specimens can be found here.

    CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about who should be tested are at the discretion of STLT health departments and/or healthcare providers. Testing for other pathogens by the provider should be done as part of the initial evaluation, as indicated, but should not delay testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • Content Notes:
    Collecting and Handling Specimens Safely -- Respiratory Specimen Collection -- Handling Bulk-Packaged Sterile Swabs Properly for Upper Respiratory Specimen Collection -- Storing and Shipping Respiratory Specimens -- Capillary Fingerstick Specimen Collection -- Additional Resources.
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