State Guidelines to Doctors Concerning Who is Recommended for COVID-19 Testing

​There is a great deal of confusing and inaccurate information on social media about who is being tested.  Here are the State guidelines:

SCREENING CRITERIA

1. If your patient is exhibiting symptoms of acute lower respiratory illness (e.g., fever, cough, and shortness of breath) and meets one or more of the following criteria:

2. Persons who have had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case

3. Persons hospitalized with acute lower respiratory illness of unknown origin

4. History of travel to or from an affected geographic area with widespread community transmission

5. History of international travel or a cruise

6. 65 years old or older with chronic health conditions

7. Immunocompromised persons

EXPANDED CRITERIA

If your patient does not meet the above criteria, testing may occur based on clinician’s judgment.

1. The health care provider is responsible for specimen collection, handling and shipping. Please follow CDC guidance and use proper PPE.

2. Collected specimens should be processed within your health care facility or a commercial laboratory (e.g., LabCorp and Quest).

3. Follow CDC guidance for specimen collection, handling and shipping.

TESTING

If an individual meets criteria for testing, wear appropriate PPE and initiate contact and airborne precautions.

1. The health care provider is responsible for specimen collection, handling, and shipping. Please follow CDC guidance.

2. Collected specimens should be processed within your health care facility, if available; a commercial laboratory (e.g., LabCorp and Quest); or a Florida Bureau of Public Health Laboratory (BPHL)

3. Before sending specimens to BPHL, notify your local county health department CHD Epidemiology Contacts.

4. Health care providers may consult local county health departments for additional guidance as needed.
Alachua County medical providers have been kept current on COVID-19 testing criteria, including the availability of commercial lab options. Individuals who have a primary care provider are encouraged to call their doctor prior to going to the doctor's office with an illness.

When calling your doctor's office, you should be prepared to tell them the reason for requesting a coronavirus (COVID-19) test. DO NOT expect to be tested if you do not meet the criteria.

Those with questions or concerns about COVID-19, including testing, should call the Alachua County Health Department’s call center at 352-334-8810. Operators are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (after hours call 352-334-7900). The County’s 311 hotline is also available to answer questions.

For current Coronavirus (COVID-19) information, visit the Alachua County Coronavirus website, the Alachua County Facebook page, call the Coronavirus Information Line at 866-779-6121, visit the Florida Department of Health website, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC​).

For more information, contact Alachua County Communications Director Mark Sexton at 352-264-6979 or msexton@alachuacounty.us.

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