June 4, 2020 / Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor
As the country slowly reopens, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance today mandating that laboratories submit additional data to the agency along with their COVIDS-19 test results. The additional data includes demographic information such as age, gender and race.
The guidance standardizes reporting with the intent of providing public health officials access to real-time data as they coordinate their response to the coronavirus pandemic. Data and test results must be submitted to relevant health departments within 24 hours.
Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D., assistant secretary for health and lead for COVID-19 testing efforts, said the additional data will allow health officials to better monitor trends and support epidemiological investigations such as contract tracing. Clinicians, he added, will be informed about the performance of tests in real-world conditions, allowing them to gauge the effectiveness of clinical interventions and outcomes.