What are the CDC recommendations for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnostic testing of healthcare providers (HCPs)?

Updated: Apr 02, 2021
  • Author: James J Dunn, PhD, D(ABMM), MT(ASCP); more...
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Among HCP, the CDC recommends that testing be considered in four situations [8] :

  • COVID-19–consistent signs or symptoms in HCP
  • Asymptomatic HCP in whom there has been known or suspected exposure to SARS-CoV-2
  • Asymptomatic HCP in nursing homes, in response to an outbreak in the facility
  • HCP previously diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection, to determine if they are no longer infectious

The fourth recommendation, which requires serial tests and improvement in symptoms, could be considered as a means of allowing HCP to return to work earlier than would a symptom-based assessment. However, the period of time during which RNA may be detectable in URT specimens may make the period prior to return to work longer than would be experienced with the symptom-based strategy.

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