COVID-19 diagnostic testing through the DPH Public Health Lab (PHL) will be accepted for patients
admitted to intensive care units if your facility is experiencing substantial delays in obtaining
a test result from a commercial clinical laboratory. PHL aims to maintain a turnaround time of ~1-2
business days after receiving specimen. Therefore, this recommendation will be regularly reassessed
based on the volume of test requests through PHL and on the availability of COVID-19 commercial clinical
|LAC DPH Public Health
Lab (PHL) COVID-19 Testing Criteria
signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g. cough or
shortness of breath)
||Any healthcare worker (defined as a person providing
direct clinical care to patients) who worked while
symptomatic in an acute or long-term care facility1
A resident of a long-term care facility
Paramedic personnel and Emergency Medicine Technicians
|Part of a cluster of 2
or more cases of a presumed infectious acute respiratory illness
within a 72-hour period
||Any congregate living setting (e.g. senior assisted-living
facility, homeless shelters)
Note that all healthcare workers are advised to self-monitor for
symptoms and not report to work if they are experiencing symptoms.
IF patient meets criteria for COVID-19 Testing at PHL, then call
LAC DPH and an on-call physician will advise on the next steps.
- Call 213-240-7941 from 8:00am-5:00pm Monday to Friday and 213-974-1234
(After Hours Emergency Operator)
- Please be prepared to provide a call back number and to wait for a call-back.
- DO NOT collect or send specimens to PHL until the case is discussed and testing is approved by DPH (if
approved, refer to
PHL specimen collection/transport
Only contact LAC DPH if the patient meets
the PHL COVID-19 testing criteria
- For patients not meeting PHL criteria,
commercial clinical laboratory
testing is available. LAC DPH recommends that providers only test patients with symptoms compatible with
COVID-19 where a diagnostic result will change clinical management or inform public health response.
Follow the specimen collection and pick-up instructions as per
your facility's designated commercial clinical laboratory. Work directly with the clinical laboratory for
all questions regarding specimen collection and transport. There is no need to contact DPH unless the test
result is positive.