New data has emerged for existing and expanding test methods for detection of SARS-CoV-2. This document provides a summary and recommendation for some of these methods.
- Rapid molecular point of care tests have emerged and offer significant improvement for near patient turn-around-time. Although early data showed challenges for the Abbott ID Now, current data demonstrate the ID Now (rapid molecular) and rapid antigen tests have value in symptomatic patients within the first week of symptom onset.
- Alternative specimen types to the nasopharyngeal swab are helpful in reducing the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) during aerosol generating procedures, but do not increase test capacity.
- Pooled testing is a valuable tool to increase test capacity, but FDA regulatory requirements present challenges for laboratories.
- Addition of SARS-CoV-2 to multiplex tests offer helpful diagnostic tools for use during respiratory virus season.
In addition, the Medical Advisory Team recommends:
- Maximize the existing testing capabilities in the state using strategies outlined in further detail in the document.
- Develop a statewide pooling strategy to efficiently process low-prevalence populations. This may require added resources from the state directed to a small number of testing centers.
- Enhance Point of Care testing capacity, being mindful of upcoming flu season demands.
- Ensure all testing strategies are aligned with test-conserving best practices and CDC guidance.
- Ensure all testing strategies are aligned with downstream practices (contact tracing, patient
- cohorting, etc.) and that outcomes are closely monitored for effectiveness.