The Tennessee Department of Health has requested that CPF share the following information regarding Coronavirus testing with members:
· Nearly all providers have access to a commercial laboratory that can test for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2).
· Providers do NOT need to consult with public health before sending a test to a commercial lab. Providers are advised NOT to test asymptomatic individuals. The cost of commercial testing is reported to be approximately $300 and is covered by commercial insurance and TennCare.
· Providers wishing to send specimens to the State Public Health Lab (SPHL) for testing should call 615-741-7247 to consult with a public health COVID-19 response team member. Testing at SPHL is prioritized for individuals who are critically ill, reside in long-term care facilities, are symptomatic health care workers or have contact with large numbers of individuals on a regular basis, are immunosuppressed or pregnant, are contacts of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19, or who have traveled from a geographic area that is significantly affected by this outbreak (Italy, Japan, China, South Korea, Iran, Washington state). SPHL will also test symptomatic individuals who are without insurance coverage.
· Providers should take care of their own patients. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be used, but N95 masks are not required except in situations where aerolization of secretions is likely (suctioning, intubation). Staff who will be within 6 feet of a suspect case should wear a surgical mask. Symptomatic patients should be masked immediately. Staff with direct contact with suspect patients should wear eye protection, a surgical or N95 mask, gown, and gloves.
· Testing requires a single nasopharyngeal swab. The swab must be polyester or dacron (not cotton or calcium alginate) and placed in viral transport medium (VTM). Label the specimen with patient name and DOB and place in the refrigerator until testing is arranged.
· Any patient who is suspected of being infected with coronavirus should be masked immediately. If they are deemed stable to return home after evaluation, they are to be placed in isolation until test results return.