Where are diagnostic tests for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) processed?

Updated: Jun 25, 2021
  • Author: David J Cennimo, MD, FAAP, FACP, FIDSA, AAHIVS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Currently, diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection can be conducted by the CDC, state public health laboratories, hospitals using their own developed and validated tests, and some commercial reference laboratories. [116]

State health departments with a patient under investigation (PUI) should contact CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 770-488-7100 for assistance with collection, storage, and shipment of clinical specimens for diagnostic testing. Specimens from the upper respiratory tract, lower respiratory tract, and serum should be collected to optimize the likelihood of detection. [88]

The FDA now recommends that nasal swabs that access just the front of the nose be used in symptomatic patients, allowing for (1) a more comfortable and simplified collection method and (2) self-collection at collection sites. [117]

For information on how to collect specimens, see Laboratory Diagnostics and Testing Fuidance for COVID-19.


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