COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing FAQs

Content on this page has been derived from a variety of resources including, but not limited to, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services,  and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  This content is subject to change as more information becomes available on the COVID-19 pandemic.  Due to the frequency of changes amidst the pandemic, this information should be compared to the latest recommendations from those agencies providing guidance on this topic.

Molecular (Diagnostic) Testing:

Can you provide specifics regarding the SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostic test provided by Aegis Sciences Corporation?

  • Testing Method: Real Time Reverse-Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (Real Time RT-PCR). 
    • Aegis currently utilizes a molecular real-time RT-PCR assay manufactured by Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. known as the TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit, which is used in accordance with the manufacturer's EUA authorization.
    • Aegis has an additional validated testing method that utilizes a modification of the PerkinElmer New Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Detection Kit.
  • Aegis' in-house validation demonstrated
    • Limit of detection: 0.4 copies of virus/microliter (µl) of sample
    • 100% concordance with all negative samples
    • >99% accuracy with contrived samples
  • Specimen Collection: Nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal, nasal mid-turbinate, and anterior nares specimens to be collected in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Collection devices that are provided by Aegis are in alignment with those recommended for collection by the CDC. Transport of specimens after collection in viral transport media is required for assurance of specimen stability for up to 7 days at room temperature. Pre-analytical stability studies demonstrated specimen stability at a range of temperatures during transit.
    • Viral Transport Media: PrimeStore® MTM
  • Turnaround time for Results: Average <24 hours.  If repeat analysis needed, may be in the 36-48 hour range
  • Cost: $100 per test (same for all CPT codes)
  • Coding: U0003

How do I decide if a patient needs to be tested for COVID-19?

  • Per the CDC's "Criteria to Guide Evaluation and Laboratory Testing for COVID-19”:
    • Clinicians should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19, which may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, and whether the patient should be tested. Asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been reported. 
    • Many patients with confirmed COVID-19 have developed fever and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing) but some people may present with other symptoms as well (e.g., fever, chills, shaking, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste/smell). 
    • Other considerations that may guide testing are epidemiologic factors such as known exposure to an individual who has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and the occurrence of local community transmission or transmission within a specific setting/facility (e.g., nursing homes) of COVID-19.  Clinicians are encouraged to test for other causes of respiratory illness.

Which providers have the capability to order COVID-19 diagnostic testing?

  • The CDC recommends that all testing for SARS-CoV-2 be conducted in consultation with a healthcare provider.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued guidance on temporary flexibilities afforded to providers and facilities in fighting COVID-19.  Physician extenders may have increased ordering capabilities. Supervisory guidelines may be altered, including for resident trainees.  Telehealth opportunities are also increased.  Physicians and extenders should consult their local state boards to ensure that any COVID-19-related practice initiatives align with state law and the provider's scope of practice.

Has there been any guidance regarding the "best" time for a molecular test to diagnose a patient with SARS-CoV-2?

  • At this time, guidance varies regarding the most appropriate time to test patients.  Although we are still awaiting larger clinical trials to gain greater understanding of the virus, some preliminary evidence is available.  An overview of this information has been provided by the Sanford Guide online.
    • Mean incubation time is estimated to be ~5 days after exposure (range 4.1 - 7.0 days, but as short as 36 hours or as long as 14 days).  Transmission can occur from an infected person who is asymptomatic (prior to onset of symptoms), although transmission is likely more efficient once symptoms develop.
    • Viral loads collected in patients with SARS-CoV-2 were highest in the early symptomatic period, declining slowly and remained detectable into the second or third week after onset of illness, despite resolution of symptoms.
    • Seroconversion, or detection of antibodies, was not followed by a rapid decline in viral RNA.  Thus, it would be possible for a patient with detectable antibodies present to still cause viral transmission.

Do I need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while collecting a patient's specimen?

  • The CDC recommends that proper infection control be maintained and PPE be used while collecting specimens within 6 feet of patients suspected to be infected with SARS-CoV-2.
    • PPE includes an N95 or higher-level respirator (or facemask if a respirator is not available), eye protection, gloves, and a gown, when collecting specimens.
  • For providers who are handling specimens, but are not directly involved in collection (e.g. self-collection) and not working within 6 feet of the patient, follow Standard Precautions; gloves are recommended. Healthcare personnel are recommended to wear a form of source control (facemask or cloth face covering) at all times while in the healthcare facility.
    • PPE use can be minimized through patient self-collection while the healthcare provider maintains at least 6 feet of separation.

How will Aegis be reporting results?

Results will be reported as "positive", "negative", or "indeterminate." If a result is reported as indeterminate, then it has undergone two rounds of testing, and neither positive or negative results were reportable.  

I collected a sample for a patient, and the results were negative. What does that mean?

  • According to the CDC, a negative test for COVID-19 by a viral test means that the individual was not infected at the time the sample was collected.  However, this does not mean that the individual will not get sick. The test results only means that the individual did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing.
  • Proper collection of specimens is the most important step in the laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases. A specimen that is not collected correctly may lead to false negative test results.  Additional information from the CDC regarding specimen collection is available here.

Managing patients that are positive for SARS-Cov-2

* CDC guidance for COVID-19 may be adapted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances.*

When may a patient with COVID-19 who thinks or knows they have COVOD-19 and who has symptoms discontinue isolation?

Please refer to local Department of Health guidelines, as each state has different recommendations on this topic.

Symptom-based strategy:


The patient can be with others after:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset and

  • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and 

  • Other symptoms have improved.

If the patient remains asymptomatic after recovery, retesting is not recommended within 3 months after the date of symptom onset for the initial COVID-19 infection. In addition, quarantine is not recommended in the event of close contact with an infected person.

A test-based strategy is no longer recommended except to discontinue isolation or other precautions earlier than would occur under the symptom-based strategy outlined above.

For persons who develop new symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during the 3 months after the date of initial symptom onset, if an alternative etiology cannot be identified by a provider, then the person may warrant retesting. Consultation with infectious disease or infection control experts is recommended, especially in the event symptoms develop within 14 days after close contact with an infected person. Persons being evaluated for reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 should be isolated under recommended precautions while undergoing evaluation. If reinfection is confirmed or remains suspected they should remain under the recommended SARS-CoV-2 isolation until they meet the criteria for discontinuation of precautions – for most persons, this would be 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.

If the patient had severe illness from COVID-19 (admitted to a hospital and needed oxygen) or if the patient has a weakened immune system (immunocompromised) due to a health condition or medication, it is recommended to stay in isolation for longer than 10 days after symptom onset (possibly up to 20 days) and may need to finish the period of isolation at home. The patient may undergo repeat testing for COVID-19 to end the isolation earlier than would be done according to the criteria above. If so, the patient can be around others after at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected greater than or equal to 24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens).

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19:
    • If your symptoms are mild:
      • Your healthcare provider may advise a SARS-CoV-2 test.
      • If you test positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection or do not get tested, you should self-isolate for at least 10 days after both symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.
      • If you live with a person at increased risk of severe illness (for example an elderly relative or other individuals with underlying conditions), take special precautions in the home to protect that individual according to CDC guidelines.
    • If you test positive, you do not need to repeat a test for at least 3 months.
    • You do not need a follow-up negative test to return to work or school, as long as
      • You did not require hospitalization, AND

It has been at least at least 10 days after both symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.

When may a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 but has no symptoms discontinue isolation?

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after:

  • 10 days have passed since the date you had your positive test

If testing is available in your community, your healthcare provider may recommend that you undergo repeat testing for COVID-19 to end your isolation earlier than would be done according to the criteria above. If so, you can be around others after you receive two negative test results in a row, from tests done at least 24 hours apart.

If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above for "When may a patient with COVID-19 who thinks or knows they have COVID-19 and who has symptoms discontinue isolation?"

What does my patient do if he/she might have been exposed to COVID-19?

    • If you have been in close contact, such as within 6 feet of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least 15 minutes and do not have symptoms.
      • You need a test. Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested. Pending test results, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home and stay separated from household members to the extent possible and use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.
        • A single negative test does not mean you will remain negative at any time point after that test.
        • Even if you have a negative test, you should still self-isolate for 14 days.
      • If you cannot self-isolate, or you are a critical infrastructure worker that must work, wear a mask, physically distance, avoid crowds and indoor crowded places, wash your hands frequently, and monitor yourself for symptoms.
      • If you live with a person at increased risk of severe illness (for example an elderly person or other individuals with underlying medical conditions), take special precautions in the home to protect that individual according to CDC guidelines.
      • Healthcare providers in close contact of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection while using recommended personal protective equipment, do not need to be tested
    • If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms and have not been in close contact with someone known to have SARS-CoV-2 infection (meaning being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes).
      • You do not need a test unless recommended or required by your healthcare provider or public health official.
      • If you are tested, you should self-quarantine at home until your test results are known, and then adhere to your healthcare provider’s advice.
      • A negative test does not mean you will remain negative at any time point after that test.
    • If you are in a high SARS-CoV-2 transmission zone and attended a public or private gathering of more than 10 people (without universal mask wearing and/or physical distancing).
      • Your healthcare provider or public health official may advise a SARS-CoV-2 test.
      • If you are tested, you should self-isolate at home until your test results are known, and then adhere to your healthcare provider’s advice.
      • A negative test does not mean you will remain negative at any time point after that test.
      • Even if you have a negative test, you should wear a mask, physically distance, avoid crowds and indoor crowded places, wash your hands frequently, and monitor yourself for symptoms.
      • Take special precautions in the home to protect any person(s) with increased risk of severe illness according to CDC guidelines.

     

     

    When to quarantine?

Return to Work Criteria for HCP with SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Symptom-based strategy for determining when HCP can return to work.

HCP with mild to moderate illness who are not severely immunocompromised:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved

HCP with severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised1:

  • At least 10 days and up to 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved
  • Consider consultation with infection control experts

Test-Based Strategy for Determining when HCP Can Return to Work.

HCP who are symptomatic:

  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
  • Results are negative from at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected greater than or equal to 24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens) tested using an FDA-authorized molecular viral assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

HCP who are not symptomatic:

Results are negative from at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected greater than or equal to 24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens) tested using an FDA-authorized molecular viral assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

Access to Care

What telehealth services are available to my patients while face-to-face visits are restricted?

  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is covering a broad range of telehealth services during the Public Health Emergency, including many services medical providers may perform in conjunction with ordering diagnostic testing for COVID-19. 
    • New patient visits – E/M 99201 – 99205 
    • Established patient visits – E/M 99211-99215 
  • Eligible practitioners include: physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other authorized providers under applicable state laws 
  • Types of virtual services included/covered: 

    Type of Service

    What is the Service

    HCPCS/CPT Code

    Patient Relationship with Provider

    Medicare Telehealth Visits

    A visit with a provider that uses telecommunication systems between a provider and a patient

    Common telehealth services include: 

    • 99201-99215 (Office or other outpatient visits)
    • G0425-G0427 (Telehealth consultations, emergency department or initial inpatient)
    • G0406-G0408 (Follow-up inpatient telehealth consultations furnished to beneficiaries in hospitals or SNFs)
    • Complete list is located here.

    For new* or established patients


    *to the extent the 1135 waiver requires an established relationship, HHS will not conduct audits to ensure that such a prior relationship existed for claims submitted during this public health emergency

    Virtual Check-In

    A brief (5-10) minutes) check in with your practitioner via telephone or other telecommunications device to decide whether an office visit or other service is needed.  A remote evaluation of recorded video and/or images submitted by an established patient.

    HCPCS code G2012

    HCPCS code G2010

    For established patients.

    E-Visits

    A communication between a patient and their provider through an online patient portal.

    99421

    99422

    99423

    G2061

    G2062

    G2063

    For established patients

    I'm relatively new to telehealth and I'm concerned about a potential HIPAA violation. Is there guidance available on this topic?

    • The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for enforcing certain regulations issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, to protect the privacy and security of protected health information, namely the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules (the HIPAA Rules).
    • OCR will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.  This notification is effective immediately.

    Can you provide information about the services hospitals are able to provide in temporary expansion sites?

    • CMS has a new initiative referred to as "Hospital Without Walls” that allows for
      • Off-site patient screening permitted for hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and critical access hospitals  
      • Temporary expansion sites permitted allowing hospitals and provider-based departments to establish and classify additional locations as part of the hospital

    Can a patient be seen by me or my office staff solely for the purpose of being assessed or tested for COVID-19?

    • CMS has finalized an interim policy to compensate physicians for COVID-19 assessments and specimen collection performed by their clinical staff, even when the patient receives no other services. The Interim Final Rule states: 
      • For the duration of the COVID-19 [Public Health Emergency (PHE)], we are therefore finalizing on an interim basis that when the services described by CPT code 99211 for a level 1 E/M visit are furnished for the purpose of a COVID-19 assessment and specimen collection, the code can be billed for both new and established patients. We believe this policy will support expanded access to COVID-19 testing, and provide appropriate payment for COVID-19 testing-related services furnished by physician and other practitioners. This policy will allow physicians and practitioners to bill for services provided by clinical staff to assess symptoms and take specimens for COVID-19 laboratory testing for all patients, not just established patients. We note that a physician or practitioner cannot bill for services provided by auxiliary clinical staff unless those staff meet all the requirements to furnish services "incident to” services, as described in 42 CFR 410.26 and further described in section 60 of Chapter 15 Covered Medical and other Health Services in the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual 100-02. We further note that we adopted an interim final policy to permit the direct supervision requirement to be met through virtual presence of the supervising physician or practitioner using interactive audio and video technology for the duration of the PHE (85 FR 19245). CMS-5531-IFC, 188 

    I'm interested in offsite assessment of patients that are concerned about COVID-19. Am I able to set up a Drive-Thru testing site?

    • In addition to the telehealth options discussed above, COVID-19 screening can also take place through a designated external triage station at a physician's practice or other designated locations within the community. Billing and coding for these face-to-face outpatient services is based on existing standards for new and established outpatient services. 
    • While the intent of telephone, virtual check-in and online digital E/M is to limit potential transmission of COVID-19 to patients and healthcare workers alike, there may be circumstances where face-to-face physician services occur in a temporary outside assessment center. 
    • Specimen collection via throat swabbing can be performed within a medical practice, at community or medical practice drive-thru sites, or other designated locations.  
    • Licensed staff trained in triage protocol can determine which patients can be managed safely at home vs. those that need to be seen at a healthcare facility. 
    • Patients must have an authorized medical provider's order to receive COVID-19 testing. 
    • Criteria for patients that should go to drive-thru testing may vary from state-to-state. 

    If I set up a Drive-Thru testing center, how should I direct my patients to utilize this testing process?

    • Patients will be guided by road signs/cones directing them to keep their windows up and follow a series of cones 
    • Patients will be directed to a tent where a healthcare lab worker will use a microphone to remind them to keep their window up 
    • Lab worker will ask how many people in the car will be getting tested 
    • Patient(s) will be asked to hold up their photo ID and insurance card to the window for a picture 
    • A label will be generated for their sample 
    • A nurse or provider will advise the patient to roll their window down just a crack, tilt their head back and the back of their throat will be swabbed 
    • Patients roll up their window and depart 

    Sample Logistics

    Will Aegis provide instructions on how to collect and ship specimens?

    • A comprehensive set of instructions have been developed for specimen collection and shipment. Contact Aegis with any questions on this process at 1-800-533-7052.

    Are there any additional resources available on specimen collection?

    • The CDC has provided an overview of appropriate specimens that should be collected for SARS-CoV-2 testing as well as the collection process.
    • Additionally, the New England Journal of Medicine has provided an instructional video on collection of nasopharyngeal specimens.

    Are Aegis personnel capable of collecting SARS-CoV-2 specimens?

    • Aegis personnel are not able to collect specimens for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing.  At this time, the CDC recommends that specimens be collected either by a healthcare professional or under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

    How long are COVID-19 diagnostic specimens stable after collection, and how should they be stored prior to shipment?

    Aegis utilizes a transport media (PrimeStore MTM) to improve stability of COVID-19 diagnostic specimens while in transit.  Our internal studies have demonstrated stability of viral specimens up to 7 days at room temperature in PrimeStore MTM. 

    Additional Links and Resources

    Has guidance been issues on how testing should be utilized prior to elective procedures?

    • CMS has provided guidance on re-opening facilities that provide elective procedures.
      • All patients must be screened for potential symptoms of COVID-19 prior to entering the NCC facility, and staff must be routinely screened for potential symptoms as noted above.
      • When adequate testing capability is established, patients should be screened by laboratory testing before care, and staff working in these facilities should be regularly screened by laboratory test as well.

    Has guidance been published regarding billing for services rendered as it related to telehealth and COVID-19 testing?

    COVID-19 Testing in the Long-term Care Setting

    How do we test Nursing Home HCP for SARS-CoV-2?

    • Initial viral testing of all HCP in nursing homes, along with weekly viral testing thereafter is recommended. * CDC guidance for COVID-19 may be adapted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances. *
    • At the start of each shift, take the temperature of all HCP and ask about the presence of COVID-19 symptoms; perform viral testing of any HCP who have signs or symptoms of COVID-19. 
    • Go to the "Managing patients that are positive for SARS-Cov-2" section of this FAQ guide and click on "Return to Work Criteria for HCP with SARS-CoV-2 Infection" for symptom- and test-based strategies for determining when HCP can return to work

    Testing residents with signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

    • At least daily, take the temperature of all residents and ask them if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. Perform viral testing of any resident who has signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

    Testing asymptomatic residents with known or suspected exposure to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2, including close and expanded contacts (e.g., there is an outbreak in the facility).

    Initial (baseline) testing of asymptomatic residents without known or suspected exposure to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2 is part of the recommended reopening process.

    • Perform initial viral testing of each resident in a nursing home as part of the recommended reopening process. 

    • In any nursing home, initial viral testing of each resident (who is not known to have previously been diagnosed with COVID-19) is recommended.

    Testing to determine resolution of infection.

    • The symptom-based strategy should be used to determine when to discontinue Transmission-Based Precautions.

    • The test-based strategy could be considered for some residents (e.g., those who are severely immunocompromised) in consultation with local infectious diseases experts if concerns exist for the resident being infectious for more than 20 days.

    • Go to the"Managing patients that are positive for SARS-Cov-2”section of this FAQ guide and click on "When may a patient with COVID-19 who thinks or knows they have COVID-19 and who has symptomsdiscontinue isolation?” for more information on symptom- and test-based strategies.

    Non-diagnostic testing of asymptomatic residents without known or suspected exposure to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2 (apart from the initial testing referenced above).

    • After initially performing viral testing of all residents in response to an outbreak, CDC recommends repeat testing

    • Continue repeat viral testing of all previously negative residents, generally every 3 days to 7 days, until the testing identifies no new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection among residents or HCP for a period of at least 14 days since the most recent positive result.

    COVID Testing Resources for Nursing Homes

    COVID-19 Testing in the Workplace

    What measures should be implemented for high-density critical infrastructure workplaces?

    • Workers in critical infrastructure sectors may be permitted to work if asymptomatic after potential exposure to a confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), provided that worker infection prevention recommendations and controls are implemented.
    • The CDC recommends implementing screening for symptoms of COVID-19, testing, and contact tracing may be used to detect infected workers earlier and exclude them from the workplace, thus preventing disease transmission and subsequent outbreaks.
      • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
      • Consider conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks
      • Identify where and how workers might be exposed to COVID-19 at work
      • Separate sick employees
      • Take action if an employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 infection
      • Follow the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations
      • Educate employees about steps they can take to protect themselves at work and at home

    Who should be screened for COVID-19 at the workplace?

    • Per the CDC’s “Considerations for use of a testing strategy for COVID-19 infection”:
      • Screening workers and others entering the workplace for symptoms of COVID-19 and body temperature is a critical component of preventing transmission and protecting workers.
      • Workers who are symptomatic upon arrival at work, or who become sick during the day, should immediately be separated from others. They should be sent to their home or a health care facility, as appropriate, and referred for further evaluation and testing in consultation with the state, territorial, or local health departments or through occupational health providers.

    What actions should be taken upon finding a positive case at the workplace?

    • The CDC recommends that when a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified, interviewing and testing potentially exposed co-workers should occur as soon as possible to reduce the risk of further workplace transmission.
      • Positive test results indicate the need for exclusion from work and isolation at home.
    • A risk-based approach to testing co-workers of a person with confirmed COVID-19 may be applied.
      • Examining facility and operations work records, conducting walk-throughs, and employee interviews may aid in categorizing co-workers into the three tiers of testing priority.
        • Tier 1 is the highest priority for testing of exposed co-workers. Tier 1 workers are those that have close contact with or exposure to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should be tested and quarantined as soon as possible to reduce the risk of further workplace transmission.
        • Tier 2 is the next highest priority tier for testing. Tier 2 includes workers on the same shift, but in a different area of the facility or operation who may have had an exposure to a worker with confirmed COVID-19.
        • Tier 3 includes workers not in Tiers 1 or 2. Tier 3 includes workers who shared a common space (e.g. a rest room, break room) and therefore exposure to worker(s) with confirmed COVID-19 cannot be definitively ruled out. Tier 3 also includes workers who generally work a different shift than the worker(s) with confirmed COVID-19 but exposure cannot be excluded based on the potential for overlap in work time from back-to-back shifts.
    • Implementation of testing strategies can supplement measures to reduce transmission in the workplace, provided other protections are in place to protect worker health while keeping the workplace open.
      • If employers elect to conduct facility-wide testing, multiple asymptomatic workers with SARS-CoV-2 infection may be identified.

    Should workers with recent exposure be permitted to work?

    • Current CDC guidance advises that employers may permit workers who have had an exposure to COVID-19, but who do not have symptoms, to continue to work, provided they adhere to additional safety precautions, such as measuring the employee’s temperature and assessing for symptoms of COVID-19 before each work shift (“pre-screening”), asking the employee to self-monitor for symptoms during their work shift, and asking the employee to wear a cloth face covering while they are in the workplace.

    What day-to-day practices should be implemented in the workplace with suspected or confirmed COVID-19?

    • The following practices should be implemented prior to and during work shifts per CDC guidelines
      • Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
      • Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
      • Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.
      • Solid Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
      • Disinfect and Clean work spaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment routinely.
    • Downstream effects of COVID-19 on your patients

      Downstream effects of COVID-19 on your patients

      Date and Time:

      Length: 30 minutes

    Resources

    1. Patient Portal

      If you are a patient that had COVID-19 testing performed by Aegis Sciences click below to retrieve your results:

      https://Patientportal.aegislabs.com

    2. Specimen Collection Instructions

      Specimen Collection Instructions

       

      Download Diagnostic Test Specimen Collection Instructions

    3. COVID-19 Fact Sheets

      Aegis' COVID-19 Fact Sheets provides information for patients and providers regarding the risks and benefits of using Aegis' tests for COVID-19. For both providers and patients, the test used can be found in the "Sample Comments" section of the Laboratory Report.

      Patient Fact Sheet

      Patient Fact Sheet

      This Fact Sheet contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of using this test for the diagnosis of COVID-19. After reading this Fact Sheet, if you have questions or would like to discuss the information provided, please talk to your healthcare provider. 

      Taq-Path™ COVID-19 Combo Kit : Download Patient Fact Sheet (English - Taq-Path)

    4. This Fact Sheet informs you of the significant known and potential risks and benefits of the emergency use of the TaqPath™ COVID-19 Combo Kit.

      Provider Fact Sheet

      Provider Fact Sheet

      This Fact Sheet informs you of the significant known and potential risks and benefits of the emergency use of a Molecular Laboratory Developed Test (LDT) COVID-19 Authorized Test (Molecular LDT COVID-19 Authorized Test) that has been issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by FDA. The Molecular LDT COVID-19 Authorized Test is authorized for use on respiratory specimens collected from individuals suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare provider. 

      Taq-Path™COVID-19 Combo Kit : Download Provider Fact Sheet (English - Taq-Path)