COVID-19 Testing Guidance
Primex Clinical Laboratories strives to provide clients with quality testing services to better support patient health. With the ongoing pandemic, COVID-19 testing has become high in demand yet testing supplies are limited.
Because of the surge in COVID-19 testing demands, the California Department of Public Health has established new guidance directing public health officials, healthcare providers, and laboratories to follow a 4-tiered system. This system is designed to determine how COVID-19 testing will be prioritized.
Prioritized testing is based on four tiers:
Prioritized testing is based on four tiers:
- Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 symptoms
- Investigation and management of outbreaks, under direction of state and local public health departments (including contact tracing).
- All others with COVID-19 symptoms
- Close contact confirmed cases
Individuals who are asymptomatic who fall within any of these categories:
- Live in higher risk congregate care facilities including skilled nursing facilities, residential care facilities for the elderly, correctional facilities, or homeless shelters.
- Work in the health care sector who have frequent interactions with the public or with people who may have COVID-19 or have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. The health care sector includes: hospitals; skilled nursing facilities; long-term care facilities; ambulatory surgery centers; health care providers’ offices; health care clinics; pharmacies; blood banks; dialysis centers; hospices; and, home health providers.
- Work in a congregate care facility, including shelters for people experience homelessness and residential care facilities for the elderly.
- Provide care to an elderly person or a person with a disability in the home, including a person providing care through California’s In-Home Supportive Services Program.
- Work in the emergency services sector who have frequent interactions with the public or with people who may have COVID-19 or have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. The emergency services sector includes police and public safety departments, fire departments, and emergency service response operations.
- Work in a correctional facility.
- Patients requiring pre-operative/pre-hospital admission screening.
- Patients being discharged from hospitals to lower levels of care.
The following individuals who are asymptomatic and fall within any of these categories:
- Individuals who work in the retail or manufacturing sectors who have frequent interactions with the public or who works in an environment where it is not practical to maintain at least six feet of space from other workers on a consistent basis.
- Individuals who work in the food services sector who have frequent interactions with the public. The food services sector includes grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, and grocery or meal delivery services.
- Individuals who work in the agricultural or food manufacturing sector who have frequent interactions with the public or who works in an environment where it is not practical to maintain at least six feet of space from other workers on a consistent basis. The agricultural or food manufacturing sector includes food production and processing facilities, slaughter facilities, harvesting sites or facilities, and food packing facilities.
- Individuals who work in the public transportation sector who have frequent interactions with the public. The public transportation sector includes public transit, passenger rail service, passenger ferry service, public airports, and commercial airlines.
- Individuals who work in the education sector who have frequent interactions with students or the public. The education sector includes public and private childcare establishments; public and private pre-kindergarten programs; primary and secondary schools; and public and private colleges and universities.
- Tier 4 would be implemented when California’s turnaround time, as monitored by CDPH, is less than 48 hours.
- Other individuals not specified above including those who are asymptomatic but believe they have a risk for being actively infected as well as routine by employers.
Primex looks to our healthcare providers to use this guidance to determine prioritization of COVID-19 testing. Please check back frequently for updates to these guidelines.