Due to the availability of laboratory testing capacity for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in commercial and clinical laboratories, we are providing guidance on reporting of COVID-19 cases identified in Kentucky. Any patient with a positive COVID-19 diagnostic test is immediately reportable to the Kentucky Deparment for Public Health (KDPH) under state regulation (902 KAR 2:020 Section 10: “Newly Recognized Infectious Agents, HAI Outbreaks, Emerging Pathogens, and Pathogens of Public Health Importance”- https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/kar/902/002/020.pdf).
If you are notified of a lab-positive result, please report the case by phone to the Reportable Disease Section of KDPH at 502-564-3261 and fax a completed EPID-200 Reportable Disease Form to our secure fax at 502-696-3803. In order to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19, KDPH must have this information quickly on initial cases to implement control measures.
The Kentucky Division of Laboratory Services will continue to offer testing for COVID-19. This testing will be limited to cases of public health significance (at the current time, few people in Kentucky have any risk for COVID-19) and must be approved by the Division of Epidemiology. If you have identified an individual with exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case, or who has traveled to a country with ongoing community spread, and that person has fever and respiratory illness, that person may qualify for testing at the state laboratory based on an exposure assessment. If you think you have someone who meets these criteria, please contact our COVID-19 team at 1-888-404-1539 during regular business hours or 888-973-7678 after hours and on weekends for assessment and approval of testing.
Please note that FDA-approved respiratory panel assays will NOT detect COVID-19: if you receive a standard respiratory panel coronavirus positive test, this is not the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and is not reportable to KDPH.
To insure reliability and accuracy of the commercial test, we are requesting commercial and clinical laboratories submit any positive specimens to the Kentucky Division of Laboratory Services for confirmation.
Thank you for your assistance in this critical, evolving public health situation.
Doug Thoroughman, PhD, MS
State Epidemiologist (Acting)
CDC Career Epidemiology Field Officer Kentucky Department for Public Health Phone: 502-564-3418 x4315