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What is the process for testing novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Testing for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is currently being done on a patient-by-patient basis. Epidemiologists at the local public health districts and the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare are in consultation with healthcare providers and will facilitate testing for the sickest and those with the highest risk of infection.

Since influenza is still widely circulating and has similar symptoms, rapid flu tests will generally be recommended to rule out flu before proceeding with coronavirus testing.

Positive COVID-19 results for tests performed at the state lab will be considered presumptive and will be sent to CDC for confirmatory testing.

One large commercial lab is testing samples from Idaho for novel coronavirus, and one is in the process of expanding its capacity but is not testing samples from Idaho as of March 10.

If you are a provider and need more information, contact your local public health district.

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