Oregon Health Authority – COVID-19 update: New guidelines for testing

March 5, 2020
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, OHA has relied on CDC guidance about who to test for the virus, which includes focusing on individuals experiencing symptoms of the virus—fever, cough, shortness of breath— and who either traveled from mainland China or had close contact with a confirmed case in the 14 days before they became sick.
Today, the CDC expanded that testing guidance to give clinicians more discretion to determine whether to seek testing for COVID-19 for patients. That guidance encourages clinicians to use their judgment in deciding whether a patient has signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and whether that patient needs to be tested.

OHA is adapting the new CDC guidance by encouraging clinicians to pursue COVID-19 testing when evaluation of hospitalized patients who test negative for influenza indicates likelihood of viral pneumonia.
OHA guidance will also provide a streamlined process for clinicians to request a test from the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory. This includes creating an online form for OHA epidemiologists to electronically approve testing requests if the clinician’s patient meets the testing criteria.
For more information, go to healthoregon.org/cornovirus