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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


• Individuals without symptoms