According to updated guidance recently released by the Department of Health (DOH/the Department) found here, it continues to monitor the situation and work to expand COVID-19 diagnostic and serologic testing.
The purpose of the guidance is to ensure the appropriate and efficient standards for diagnostic and serological testing as an essential component of a multi-layered strategy to prevent sustained spread of COVID-19 and to ensure resources are being efficiently and equitably distributed.
This guidance is necessary to ensure that New York State prioritizes resources to meet the evolving public health needs as we respond to, and recover from COVID.
Diagnostic and/or serologic testing for COVID-19 shall be authorized by a health care provider when:
- An individual is symptomatic or has a history of symptoms of COVID-19 or the individual has an underlying health condition; or
- An individual is less than 21 years of age who has symptoms consistent with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), which is also known as
- Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome; or
- An individual requires a test for medical care, including being tested prior to an elective surgery or procedure, or individuals who are pregnant and their designated support person; or
- An individual is employed as a health care worker, first responder, employee of a nursing home, long-term care facility, or other congregate care facility, or other essential employee who directly interacts with the public while working.
Based on individual clinical factors, health care providers should use clinical judgement to determine the appropriate COVID-19 test(s) (i.e. diagnostic or serologic) that should be obtained for an individual.
The guidance also sets out a testing prioritization process. To support the statewide coordinated testing prioritization, health care providers should take the following prioritization into consideration when ordering a COVID-19 test:
- Symptomatic individuals,
- Individuals less than 21 years of age who have symptoms consistent with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), which is also known as
- Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome.
- Individuals requiring a COVID-19 test for medical care.
- Individuals who have had close contact with a person known to be positive with COVID-19.
- Individuals who are subject to a precautionary or mandatory quarantine.
- Individuals who are employed as health care workers, first responders, or in any position within a nursing home, long-term care facility, or other congregate care setting.
- Individuals who are employed as essential employees who directly interact with the public while working.Individuals who are employed by an essential business (e.g. food production, medical supply manufacturing) or any business that has been designated to “reopen” in certain regions of the state (e.g. construction, curbside/in-store pickup retail, wholesale trade).
- Individuals who present with a case where the facts and circumstances – as determined by the treating clinician in consultation with state or local department of health officials – warrant testing, or other criteria set forth by NYS DOH (e.g. place of residence, occupation).
Diagnostic Testing Access: Individuals who fit these prioritization categories and do not currently have access to testing can call the New York State COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or visit the NYS DOH website https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov/ to be screened for eligibility, and if eligible, have an appointment set up at one of the State’s Testing Sites.
Providers who have questions can contact the NYS DOH Bureau of Communicable Disease Control at 518-473-4439 during business hours or 1-866-881-2809 during evenings, weekends, and holidays.