COVID-19 Testing Changes
Published: March 10, 2020
With the expanded ability of commercial labs to perform COVID-19 testing, Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS) is providing updated guidance. Of note, DHS approval is no longer needed for testing. Providers should continue to alert and request testing with Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS) for only the priority cases listed below. Healthcare providers should direct COVID-19 testing to commercial laboratories and other non-public health laboratories that offer COVID-19 testing. Providers may determine which patients are suspect COVID-19 cases using clinical judgement.
To request COVID-19 testing at the SCPHL, first contact the Sonoma County Disease Control Unit at (707) 565-4566. Once Sonoma County Disease Control approval for testing is obtained, visit the SCPHL website for specimen guidelines and the requisition form. SCPHL is currently testing for COVID-19 on a daily basis (including weekends) through the end of March.
On March 4, 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded criteria for COVID-19 testing, and providers may now use clinical judgment to identify suspect cases. Large commercial laboratories and other non-public health referral laboratories are offering COVID-19 testing. Providers should send specimens to these laboratories. DHS approval is NOT REQUIRED for testing done at commercial laboratories. According to the California Department of Public Health, a CDC PUI number or COVID-19 ID number is also not required for testing at these facilities.
Actions Requested of Providers
- When possible, direct COVID-19 testing to commercial laboratories and other non-public health laboratories now offering COVID-19 testing.
- When requesting SCPHL COVID-19 testing, please call (707) 565-4566 for approval.
- Report priority suspect COVID-19 cases to DHS:
- Persons with suspected COVID-19 and exposure to a known case
- Persons with suspected COVID-19 and recent travel to an area with CDC Level 3 travel warning
- Healthcare workers with suspected COVID-19 and exposure to a known or suspected case
- Symptomatic persons with travel on the Grand Princess Cruise from San Francisco February 11-21
- Report all newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases by telephone within one hour. COVID-19 is a novel virus infection with pandemic potential, thus confirmed cases are reportable by providers and laboratories as required per Title 17 California Code of Regulations Section 2500.
- Ensure specimens from your facility go to the appropriate laboratory.
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