SPECIAL BULLETIN COVID-19 #127: Antigen Testing Guidance

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Providers are required by State Health Director Order to report all results, positive and negative, of diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This includes antigen test results.  

  • Physicians and other healthcare providers are required to report all test results that will not be reported by a laboratory in accordance with this guidance within 24 hours of receiving the test result by telephone or secure fax to the local health director in the county or district where the patient resides.
  • Physicians are required to report accompanying data for all positive tests by telephone or secure fax to the local health director in the county or district where the patient resides, even if it the result is reported by a laboratory in accordance with this guidance. 
  • Laboratories are required to report electronically, either via Electronic Lab Reporting (ELR) or in accordance with the laboratory data automation process outlined in the guidance for reporting results
  • The full guidance for reporting results is available on the healthcare guidance section of the NC DHHS COVID-19 website. 
  • Additional guidance regarding appropriate use of antigen testing is also available on our website (updated 9/1/2020).

Also, remember that access to testing remains a critical part of North Carolina’s response to COVID-19. Testing helps inform control measures that a person must take to decrease viral transmission and provides data to understand the level of disease spread across North Carolina. Although the CDC gave some flexibility to states to revise their testing criteria, North Carolina has widespread viral transmission and we have not changed our testing guidance at present. Generally, the guidance on individuals who should be tested is as simple as anyone who has symptoms and anyone who thinks they’ve been exposed. Please continue referring patients for testing when they meet these criteria. For more information, see the detailed testing guidance

Providers needing consultation can call the NC Division of Public Health epidemiologist on call at 919-733-3419.