Interim guidelines for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens from persons for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
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Up-to-Date Info: To find the latest CDC information on this topic go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

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

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  • Description:
    Updated April 14, 2020 Clinicians considering testing people with possible COVID-19 should work with their local and state health departments to coordinate testing through public health laboratories, or work with commercial or clinical laboratories using diagnostic tests granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual clinicians. Healthcare providers should report positive results to their local/state health department. Clinical laboratories should NOT attempt viral isolation from specimens collected from people suspected to have COVID-19 unless this is performed in a BSL-3 laboratory. Testing for other pathogens by the provider should be done as part of the initial evaluation but should not delay testing for SARS-CoV-2.
  • Content Notes:
    Specimen Type and Priority -- General Guidelines -- I. Respiratory Specimens: A. Lower respiratory tract; B. Upper respiratory tract -- II. Storage -- III. Shipping.
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