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April 20, 2020 - Coronavirus Disease(COVID-19): Updated Process for Testing Patient with Suspected COVID-19 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Healthcare providers in the District of Columbia may choose to pursue testing for SARS-CoV2 through DC Department of Forensic Science Public Health Laboratory (DFS PHL), commercial laboratories, or hospital-based laboratories. Starting April 21st, testing through the DC Department of Forensic Science Public Health Laboratory (DFS PHL) will no longer require approval by the DC Department of Health (DC Health). Healthcare providers can directly order testing through the DFS PHL without calling DC Health for approval or obtaining a PUI ID number. Healthcare providers should continue to report positive results via the Notifiable Disease and Condition Case Report Form on the DC Health Infectious Disease website (

  • Clinicians should take into consideration the testing priorities listed in this health notice when evaluating a patient with respiratory symptoms and continue testing for other more common respiratory viruses.
  • Clinicians should appropriately guide their patients on home quarantine while test results are pending
  • Clinicians should be prepared to provide patients who test positive for COVID-19 with home-isolation guidelines and information for household and close contacts (DC Health will continue to contact trace high priority groups)