NYC DOHMH Advisory #39: Proper Use and Interpretation of SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Tests
December 14, 2020
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has issued a health advisory with information that pertains to proper use and Interpretation of SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Tests.
SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests perform best when there is a high probability the individual who will be tested is infected with the virus.
Consider the pretest probability before using SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests and when interpreting results, especially in the context of increasing community transmission.
Conduct confirmatory testing when someone who: Has symptoms, tests negative OR Has no symptoms, and no known exposure in the past 14 days, tests positive.
Confirmatory testing should only be done using a nucleic acid amplification (NAA)-based test performed at a clinical laboratory on a specimen collected within 48 hours of the initial specimen (or as soon thereafter as possible). Individuals should isolate while awaiting confirmatory test results.
Provided that their limitations are taken into consideration, SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests can be a valuable screening tool to identify or monitor spread of the virus in congregate settings (e.g., long term care facilities, schools).
Follow-up testing cannot be used to test out of isolation after an established diagnosis of COVID-19.
New York State (NYS) has modified the timeframe for provider and laboratory. reporting of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza test results to require reporting within 24 hours of receiving test results, instead of three hours.
Please refer to Health Advisory #39 below for additional information: