BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — The Louisiana Department of Health is now recommending COVID-19 testing for any patient with fever, respiratory symptoms and a negative influenza test.
On top of that, all patients suspected (and undergoing testing) for COVID-19 should isolate at home until they receive their test results. If test results are positive, patients should be isolated at home until cleared by a physician or public health official.
Providers should use commercial labs for any specimens collected with the exception of high priority patients. The state public health lab will continue to test samples of high priority patients who meet the following criteria:
- Hospitalized patients with a severe respiratory illness with no other known cause
- Suspected outbreak of COVID-19 among associated individuals with recent onset of similar fever and lower respiratory symptoms.
- Recent fever and lower respiratory symptoms in a healthcare worker with direct contact to a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case.
- Suspected COVID-19 in a patient associated with a high-risk exposure setting such as a long-term care facility or a correctional facility.
For initial diagnostic testing for COVID-19, the State of Louisiana now recommends collecting and testing a single nasopharyngeal (NP) swab, or a nose swab.
Here is the full health alert shared with healthcare providers.