Maine CDC Health Advisory
March 16, 2020
Updated Guidance for COVID-19 Testing
On March 15, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidance for collection, handling, and testing clinical specimens from persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). These new guidance can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/guidelines-clinical-specimens.htm and https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/faqs-diagnostic-testing-sars-cov-2.
Key Messages: - U.S. CDC is now recommending collecting a single nasopharyngeal (NP) swab in viral transport media. Throat (OP) swabs are no longer required. If both swabs are used, they should be combined at collection in to a single vial. - FDA has expanded options for specimen transport media. - The Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL) will no longer be running a respiratory viral panel with all submitted COVID-19 specimens.