Under the guidance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Sonic Healthcare USA (SHUSA) laboratories are closely monitoring the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak caused by SARS-CoV-2 (previously known as 2019-nCoV). To date, over 80,000 human infections have been confirmed.  More than 2,500 patients have died.

Affected Geographic Areas with Widespread or Sustained Community Transmission:

  • China
  • Iran

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • South Korea

Imported cases have been identified in the U.S. according to the CDC:

  • The person-to-person spread of COVID-19 has been seen among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan.  As of 2/26/2020, the CDC has confirmed infection with the virus in one patient in California who reportedly did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19.

  • No vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19 is currently available.

  • Care is supportive.

Interim Guidance from the CDC for Healthcare Providers:

  • Infection control procedures are necessary to prevent infections from spreading during healthcare delivery. COVID-19 Infection Control recommendations provided by the CDC may be accessed on their website.

  • For patients being evaluated with fever and acute respiratory illness, a detailed travel history is essential. The Criteria to Guide Evaluation of Patients Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 are provided in the chart below. This information may also be accessed on the CDC's website.
  • In the event of a PUI for COVID-19, healthcare providers should immediately notify both infection control personnel at their healthcare facility and their local or state health department of the CDC (770-488-7100). Coordination with state/local health departments is required to initiate COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 testing.
  • In coordination with local or state health departments, the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (770-488-7100) will assist local/state health departments to collect, store, and ship specimens appropriately to the CDC, including during after hours or on weekends/holidays.
  • While COVID-19 testing can currently only be conducted at the CDC and/or local public laboratories, laboratory testing for other pathogens from PUIs (including testing for influenza, RSV, etc.) should not be delayed. In order to provide adequate infection control, please notify us in advance of sending specimens from patients under investigation for COVID-19.

Criteria to Guide Evaluation of Patients Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19


Clinical Features &

Epidemiological Risk

Fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing)



Any person, including healthcare workers, who have had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset

Fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing)



A history of travel from affected geographic areas (see above) within 14 days of symptom onset

Fever with severe lower respiratory illness (e.g., pneumonia, ARDS) requiring hospitalization without an alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., influenza)






No source of exposure has been identified

For additional information, please visit CDC's page.

The COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly evolving, and we will continue to monitor the situation and update you as new information becomes available.