This Guidance is no longer in effect and is for historical purposes only.
Related Materials: Antigen Tests Fact Sheet (PDF) | Antigen, PCR, and Serology Test Fact Sheet (PDF) | All Guidance
testing in California has rapidly expanded over the past three months
and we have learned much about COVID-19 and which populations and
communities it impacts disproportionately.
CDPH recommends first prioritizing testing of hospitalized individuals with
signs or symptoms of COVID-19 infection followed by testing of other
symptomatic individuals and higher risk asymptomatic individuals and then other
asymptomatic individuals when certain conditions exist. This guidance
should be used for prioritization of patient populations as well as for the
purposes of guiding laboratories in managing specimen processing.
modifications are made to public health directives and more sectors of
the economy open with adaptations, it is important that employers do not
use testing to impermissibly discriminate against employees who have
previously tested positive for COVID-19 (such as by preventing them from
resuming work after they can do so in a manner consistent with public
health and safety). This does not mean an employer must allow an
employee who currently has COVID-19 to return to work before the
employee's infection is resolved. Further, because PCR tests can
remain positive long after an individual is no longer infectious, proof
of a negative test should not be required prior to returning to the
workplace after documented COVID infection. Rather, symptom-
or protocol-based criteria should be used in determining when an
employee is safe to return to the workplace.
the presence of the virus at a given point in time. A negative means
only that an individual was negative at the time the test.
No test is perfect. There is a false negative rate and false positive
rate that varies depending on the test and the collection modalityNon- Diagnostic Tests
- These are statewide guidelines. Local jurisdictions may modify these
guidelines to account for local conditions or patterns of transmission.