|July 1, 2020
Maine CDC Issues Maine Health Alert Network (HAN) for COVID-19 Testing Specimens
The Maine CDC Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (“HETL”) has received several specimens for COVID-19 testing that do not have the appropriate paperwork attached. Federal rules under CLIA require HETL to only run tests that are accompanied by complete paperwork. Items most commonly missing are:
• Name of ordering physician
• Patient date of birth
• Specimen source (e.g., NP, OP, nasal mid-turbinate, anterior nares)
Please make sure that the submission forms sent in with specimens contain all required information.
If forms are incomplete, specimens will not be tested.
HETL is also rejecting several specimens because of leakage. In many instances, HETL has found that the swab shaft has not been broken properly or cut to allow it to fit into the tube with the Viral Transport Media (VTM). HETL also asks that collection sites place absorbent material in and around the tube prior to packaging to prevent potential biosafety hazards. Specimens that leak allow for contamination so they will be rejected and not tested. Please make sure that swab shafts are broken or cut properly to allow them to fit inside the vials.
To sign up for future HAN alerts, register here.
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