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IDSA Issues Recommendations for COVID-19 Testing

Last Updated: March 24, 2020.

In a statement published online March 19 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, recommendations are presented for public health and health care professionals to prioritize coronavirus disease 2019 testing.

TUESDAY, March 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a statement published online March 19 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), recommendations are presented for public health and health care professionals to prioritize coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing.

The IDSA developed recommendations for prioritization of diagnostic testing. As testing becomes more widely available or as new information becomes available, these recommendations are likely to change.

The IDSA recommends a four-tier approach to testing. Tier 1 includes critically ill patients with unexplained viral pneumonia or respiratory failure receiving intensive care unit-level care, regardless of travel history or close contact with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients. In addition, tier 1 includes anyone with fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness and close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset; anyone with a history of travel within 14 days of symptom onset to regions with sustained community transmission; anyone who is immunosuppressed or elderly or has chronic health conditions; and those who are critical to the pandemic response.

Tier 2 includes hospitalized patients and long-term care residents with unexplained fever and signs/symptoms of a lower respiratory tract illness; routine testing of hospitalized patients may be important for infection prevention as testing becomes more widely available. Tier 3 includes patients in outpatient settings who meet the criteria for influenza testing and those with specific comorbidities; given limited available data, testing of pregnant women and symptomatic children with risk factors is recommended. Tier 4 includes community surveillance as directed by public health and/or infectious disease authorities.

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