Testing through PHL is prioritized for the detection and prevention of outbreaks in acute- and subacute-care health facilities and non-healthcare congregate living settings.
If the patient meets the criteria below, call LAC DPH:
|Clinical Features||and||Epidemiologic Risk|
|Fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g. cough or shortness of breath)||AND||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
-or-A resident of a long-term care facility
-or-Paramedic personnel and Emergency Medicine Technicians (EMTs)
|Part of a cluster of 2 or more cases of a presumed infectious acute respiratory illness within a 72-hour period||AND||Any congregate living setting (e.g. senior assisted-living facility, homeless shelters)|
Please read these instructions carefully as issues with specimens, forms, and labeling can lead to specimen rejection or testing delays. DO NOT collect or send specimens to the Public Health Lab (PHL) until approved by DPH.
PHL aims to result tests within 2 business days of receipt of specimen, but delays could occur based on volume and capacity.
Upper Respiratory Specimen--for initial diagnostic testing, collect at least one upper respiratory specimen.
Any of the following specimens are acceptable:
Swabs: Acceptable swab types include synthetic fiber swabs (flocked or spun polyester) with plastic or wire shafts. Do not use calcium alginate swabs or cotton swabs with wooden shafts. Place swab in a minimum of 1-3 mL viral transport media, liquid Amies, or saline .
Aspirates and washes: collect 1.5-3.0 mL in a sterile, leak-proof container.
Lower respiratory tract specimens--may be required for patients presenting with severe disease or fatal cases. Acceptable lower respiratory tract specimens include sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage, tracheal aspirate, pleural fluid, lung swab, or lung biopsy. Collect lower respiratory tract specimens in a sterile, leak-proof container. Lung swab should be submitted in viral transport media. A minimum of 2-3 mL is needed for sputum, lavage and aspirates.
For more information on see: