ND Health Alert Network Issues Update to COVID-19 Diagnositic Testing Guidelines
On August 14, the ND Dept. of Health issued an update to the COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing Guidelines through the ND Health Alert Network.
Health alerts are announcements released by local, state or federal public health authorities to inform public health and medical professionals about likely or imminent dangers to the health of the community.
It's important to know that COVID-19 testing is critical in order to identify cases and prevent further spread through case investigation and contact tracing. Health care providers are asked to have a high suspicion for COVID-19 and test accordingly.
Asymptomatic close contacts should be tested after an exposure to COVID-19. Testing should occur ideally 7 to 10 days after last exposure. A negative PCR test result does not mean that the person won’t go on to develop COVID-19 in the 14 days after exposure. If exposed, these individuals should continue to quarantine for 14 days, even with a negative test result.
Isolation of Cases: The CDC no longer recommends a testing strategy to remove cases from isolation. Patients may be advised that isolation can be discontinued after
• At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
• At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
• Symptoms have improved
If asymptomatic, then 10 days from the collection date of the test should be used for removal from isolation