- Be aware Washington State Department of Health (DOH) updated its COVID-19 testing guidance.
- Test all patients with COVID-19 symptoms.
- Test asymptomatic people from a priority population (see details below).
Providers must fax positive lab results with demographic information to 509-249-6628.
Last week, DOH updated its COVID-19 testing guidance for healthcare providers. The updates include:
- Revised language to stress the importance of testing mildly symptomatic people and asymptomatic close contacts.
- Added recommendation to test all infants born to parents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- Removed specimen type preference.
- Described new process for ordering labs at Washington State Public Health Labs.
- Clarified language about consenting minors.
Test all patients with COVID-19 symptoms—and their close contacts, even if they are asymptomatic.
Test all patients with new onset of COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of age or health status. Test patients as soon as possible after seeking care, ideally within 24 hours. We strongly encourage broad testing.
Prioritize testing for these asymptomatic people:
- Close contact of a case.
- Exposed to COVID-19 during an outbreak in a congregate setting.
- From a racial or ethnic group disproportionately effected by COVID-19—Latinx, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, African American, American Indian and Alaska Native.
- At higher risk for severe disease due to working or living conditions, inequitable access to healthcare or comorbid condition.
- Pregnant and in labor.
- Infants born to parents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- Undergoing a procedure that increases the risk of aerosolized particle spread.
- Undergoing an invasive surgical procedure (if possible, test within 48 hours of procedure).
Share these materials with patients.
- What to do if you have COVID-19.
- What to do if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and haven’t been exposed or tested.