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Table 2 Priorities for PCR testing of suspected COVID-19 patients according to CDC guidelines [18]

From: COVID-19 clinical and laboratory diagnosis overview

Priority 1
Ensure optimal care options for all hospitalized patients, lessen the risk of nosocomial infections, and maintain the integrity of the healthcare system
• Hospitalized patients
• Symptomatic healthcare workers
Priority 2
Ensure that those who are at highest risk of complication of infection are rapidly identified and appropriately triaged
• Patients in long-term care facilities with symptoms
• Patients 65 years of age and older with symptoms
• Patients with underlying conditions with symptoms
• First responders with symptoms
Priority 3
As resources allow, test individuals in the surrounding community of rapidly increasing hospital cases to decrease community spread, and ensure health of essential workers
• Critical infrastructure workers with symptoms
• Individuals who do not meet any of the above categories with symptoms
• Healthcare workers and first responders
• Individuals with mild symptoms in communities experiencing high 2019-nCoV hospitalizations
Non-priority • Individuals without symptoms