North Carolina announces statewide COVID-19 test standing order, requires reporting of all test results

North Carolina

FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, U.S. health regulators OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services took action on Tuesday to decrease barriers to COVID-19 testing by issuing a Statewide Standing Order for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, as well as a State Health Director Temporary Order on COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Reporting.

These actions will help to increase access to testing across the state, especially for members of historically marginalized populations, and increase reporting of North Carolina test results, both positive and negative, to the state.

“Testing is an important component of the state’s strategy to slow the spread of the virus, and today’s order will make it easier for North Carolinians to get tested,” said NCDHHS State Health Director Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, M.D. 

The Statewide Standing Order allows testing sites to collect and submit samples to a laboratory for COVID-19 testing without requiring a specific order and authorizes testing sites to receive results directly from laboratories.

This will facilitate community-based testing sites and reduce barriers to testing, especially for members of historically marginalized populations who may be less likely to have a medical home. 

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