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This updated guidance from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) aims to provide an evidence-based diagnostic guideline to assist clinicians, clinical laboratorians, patients and policymakers in decisions related to the optimal use of COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing.

IDSA guidelines on the diagnosis of COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing

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Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), 2020

This updated guidance from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) aims to provide an evidence-based diagnostic guideline to assist clinicians, clinical laboratorians, patients and policymakers in decisions related to the optimal use of COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing.

In addition, a conceptual framework for understanding molecular diagnostic test performance is provided, plus the authors discuss test result interpretation in different practice settings. The guidance highlights that universal access to accurate testing is critical for patient care, hospital infection prevention and the public response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IDSA panel weigh available diagnostic evidence and make recommendations for nucleic acid testing for all symptomatic individuals suspected of having COVID-19. In addition, testing is recommended for asymptomatic individuals with known or suspected contact with a COVID-19 case. Testing asymptomatic individuals without known exposure is suggested when the results will impact isolation / quarantine / personal protective equipment usage decisions, dictate eligibility for surgery, or inform solid organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation timing.

Of note, the guidance highlights that rapid point-of-care testing requires less operator steps compared with standard tests that require instrumentation and/or processing that must be performed in a clinical laboratory by trained laboratory staff.

The guidelines can be accessed here.

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