The RUHS Public Health (PH) Laboratory is accepting specimens for COVID-19 testing for any Persons Under Investigation (PUI) who are approved by the Public Health Disease Control program.
Determining Who Should Be Tested
The CDC no longer has specific requirements for Persons Under Investigation (PUIs). However, Public Health may require a risk assessment, and testing for COVID-19 is not recommended as routine or panel testing. When obtaining the history of a suspected case of COVID-19, be prepared to present to the Department of Public Health the following information to evaluate the case:
- Symptoms (fever, cough, other lower respiratory symptoms)
- Date of onset
- Travel dates (including specific cities or regions visited and when). For many countries the specific region is vital to determining exact risk.
- Individuals this person was exposed to who may have COVID-19, and information on why you suspect them to be meaningful exposures. The highest level of concern involves household contacts.
- Other testing. Influenza should be ruled out: flu and COVID-19 disease are difficult to distinguish clinically, and influenza B activity in the county remains elevated. The Department also strongly advises obtaining a respiratory viral panel and considering a rapid strep test if pharyngitis is noted. You may be required to complete other initial testing before specimens are accepted.
Ordering the COVID-19 Real Time RT-PCR test:
For submitters that are not interfaced with the PHL, please complete a CLI.CSR.FRM.013 V2 - Novel Coronavirus 2019 Lab Test Request Form.
- For internal RUHS submitters:
- Once available, please order the test via EPIC or Novius
- Additional guidance will follow this memo with instructions of how to order the test electronically
- The PH laboratory will provide collection supplies. Please submit a CLI.CSR.FRM.014 V1 PH LAB COVID-19 SUPPLY REQUEST FORM
Please note: that collection supplies will be provided on a case by case basis for external submitters sending specimens to the public health laboratory.
Collection by Nasopharyngeal swab AND oropharyngeal swab (NP/OP swab):
Use a synthetic fiber swab with plastic shaft. Do not use calcium alginate swabs or swabs with wooden shafts. Place swab immediately into a sterile tube with 2-3 ml of viral transport media (VTM).
NP and OP swabs can now be combined into a single tube with 2-3 ml of VTM. Please still collect both an NP and OP swab, if possible, however the PHL will accept a single NP swab. Single OP swabs will be rejected. THE PREFERRED SPECIMEN FOR THE MOST ACCURATE RESULTS IS THE NP/OP COMBINATION!
Storage and Transport of Specimens:
Specimens must be stored at 2-8°C and shipped on cold/ice packs. Specimens must be tested within 72 hours of collection.
For transport, wrap specimen cap in parafilm to prevent leakage and place each specimen into a separate biohazard bag containing an absorbent sheet. Specimen must be accompanied by the appropriate LTR or electronic request form. Test request must include a PUI # or the specimen will not be tested.