DOHMH Advisory #15: Updated Recommendations for Identifying/ Testing Patients with Suspected COVID19
May 15, 2020
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has issued a health advisory with updated recommendations for identifying and testing patients with suspected COVID-19 infections.
With new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths on the decline in New York City, timely testing of people with signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or at increased risk of COVID-19 will be critical to identifying and isolating cases, identifying and monitoring potentially exposed contacts, and suppressing community spread. Recent advancements in the types of tests available and increases in testing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) mean that more people should be advised to get tested for COVID-19.
The NYC Health Department recommends that the following individuals be tested:
All people who are symptomatic: Any person with new-onset signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Close contacts of a person confirmed with COVID-19: Any person, with or without symptoms, who had close contact within the previous 14 days to a person confirmed with COVID-19, especially household contacts and intimate partners.
Congregate residential setting staff: Any person, with or without symptoms, who works in a congregate residential setting (such as a nursing home, shelter, or adult care facility).
Providers should use their clinical judgment to identify who should undergo diagnostic testing based on a consideration of the patient’s signs and symptoms, known or possible exposure to a person with COVID-19, neighborhood epidemiology, and the likelihood illness is due to an alternative etiology. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
Please refer to Health Advisory #15 for additional information.