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Here are answers to frequently asked questions we get that will help you make the best decisions for your patients.
The CDC is regularly updating guidance on who physicians should test for COVID-19.
In general, physicians should watch for patients presenting with fever or signs of lower respiratory illness—especially in those who may have been exposed to the virus. Decisions on testing may be made based on local epidemiology of COVID-19. The CDC has outlined priorities for testing patients with suspected COVID-19.
Clinicians are strongly encouraged to test first for other causes of respiratory illness, including infections such as influenza.
Full criteria for evaluating and reporting persons under investigation can be found on the CDC site.
Laboratory testing is being conducted at public health laboratories. As the availability of diagnostic testing increases, physicians will be able to access lab tests through clinical laboratories authorized by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization. Clinicians should consult with their local or state health department or the labs that perform their diagnostic services.
Answers to frequently asked lab testing issues can be found on the CDC site.
People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms either at home or in a clinical setting as symptoms demand. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
At present, no drug has been proven to be safe and effective for treating COVID-19. There are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs specifically to treat patients with COVID-19.
Some patients with COVID-19 have received intravenous remdesivir, an investigational antiviral drug that was reported to have in-vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2, for compassionate use outside of a clinical trial setting.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are under investigation in clinical trials for pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and treatment of patients with mild, moderate and severe COVID-19. However, the FDA has urged caution the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to treat COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to the risk of heart rhythm problems.
In the event that an adverse drug event is suspected or observed from any medication used to prevent or treat COVID-19, we urge health care providers to submit a report to FDA MedWatch. COVID-19 or coronavirus should be referenced in the report to the FDA.
Read the NIH Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Treatment Guidelines.
Here is the sensitivity and specificity information for:
- COVID-19 Antibody Total (IgM/IgA/IgG) – Roche Diagnostics
- Sensitivity= 100% (after 2 weeks post infection)
- The test received FDA emergency use authorization (it is not one of those tests that are on the market without FDA authorization)
- The test is qualitative test
- Positive test should be reflexed to PCR – highly recommended to determine if the patient is contagious
- This is not the Abbott test
- COVID-19 PCR RNA
- Limit of detection: 0.8 genomic RNA per uL (very sensitive)
- Molecular test (PCR) – highly specific molecular test
- Gold standard – High complexity testing
- This is not the Abbott test
Stability for COVID-19 PCR test samples is five days refrigerated. This is a nasal or oral swab test.
Stability for COVID-19 Total Antibody IgG/IgA/IgM samples is 14 days refrigerated. This is a blood sample.
Urine Drug Screening
No. It is not necessary to fast before the sample is collected. Be sure to drink enough fluids to provide a sample however do not drink excessive amounts of water as there may be a waiting period before you are seen for the collection.
You will need a valid ID and any paperwork from your doctor or employer.
No. Appointments are not necessary. You may walk in at any time. We are closed from 12pm to 1pm for lunch.
Result times vary depending on the tests ordered. Typically, 24-48 hours is needed to complete testing and the review of results by the scientific director. In some cases, it may take up to 72 hours if the tests ordered require multiple-step analysis.
The window of detection in urine specimens is as early as two hours after use to an average of 72 hours after use, depending on the individual’s metabolism and the drug.
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