Update on COVID-19 Test Results Reporting Guidance from Georgia DPH Epidemiology Unit

DPH has released an update on COVID-19 Results Reporting Guidance to reflect the changes due to the end of the Public Health Emergency on 5/11/23. Below are the key changes. Please see the below document for a full update on changes to the guidance. Also below is the GA DPH Notifiable Diseases and Conditions poster, which reflects these changes.

What should be reported:

  • All positive results for all test types (except for home and antibody tests). (page 2)
  • Long-Term Care Facilities should continue to report to NHSN. (page 7)
    • DPH strongly recommends CMS-certified facilities report individual point-of-care test results via NHSN. 
  • For all notifiable diseases including COVID-19, “any provider or healthcare facility that performs or facilitates collection of a specimen that is sent to a commercial or public health lab or to another healthcare facility for testing is required to report positive results.” (page 8)

What should no longer be reported:

  • Negative, inconclusive, or invalid molecular test results from labs under CLIA to perform moderate- or high-complexity tests. (page 2)
  • Antibody test results regardless of the result. (page 2)
  • Over the counter, at-home test kits without a provider component (e.g., prescription-based, specimen collection, etc.) are not reportable and will not be accepted via ELR. (page 7)
  • All reportable test results are to be reported within 24 hours. (page 2)

How to correct or amend results:

If a facility identifies a result that was incorrectly reported or later amended (e.g., the test result was initially reported as negative in error and was, in fact, positive), this information may be reported through the normal mechanism established for that facility but must also be reported by encrypted email to contactpublichealth@dph.ga.gov. The amended report must include the following fields at a minimum: Patient First and Last Name, Patient Date of Birth, Testing Facility, Specimen Collection Date, Test Type, and corrected Test Result. Additional information should be included if possible (see Table 1). [Note: This does not apply to results that are considered “false positives” or “false negatives,” but only to results for which an error in initial reporting was made.] (page 8)

For more information on how and when to report notifiable conditions to GNR: Notifiable Disease Epidemiology.

The notifiable disease poster can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/epidemiology/disease-reporting. The COVID reporting guidance can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/dph-covid-19-guidance under “guidance for reporting COVID-19 test results” at the bottom of the page.  

If you have questions, please reach out to our Epidemiology team by calling 770-339-4260, press 0 and ask to speak with the Epidemiologist on Call. An Epidemiologist is available 24/7 at 404-323-1910 or 866-PUB-HLTH.

COVID-19 Results Reporting Guidance

GA DPH Notifiable Diseases and Conditions