Reporting Guidelines for COVID-19
The reporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths is a critical component of the County of San Diego's local public health response to this pandemic and is required by law. The information reported contributes to the County of San Diego's COVID-19 surveillance, which helps drive actions and response. Not only does the County depend on accurate reporting to provide recommendations for our community, but the community members rely on the County to keep them up-to-date and informed. Your cooperation is appreciated in these efforts.
On April 6, 2022, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a letter to entities performing COVID-10 testing, explaining changes to reporting requirements in California. This further revises the COVID-19 reporting requirements modified by the State Health Officer issued an order issued on February 10, 2022.
- Clinical Lab Improvement Amendment (CLIA)-certified
laboratories must report all laboratory-based positive and
non-positive (i.e., negative, indeterminate) SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid
amplification tests/polymerase chain reaction (NAAT/PCR) tests and
antibody/serology test results within 24 hours from the time the
laboratory notifies the healthcare provider or other person
authorized to receive the report. Laboratories must also report
SARS-CoV-2 positive results of non-NAAT diagnostic testing.
- CLIA-waived facilities must report SARS-CoV-2
positive diagnostic results only. Reporting of non-positive results
is no longer required. This includes rapid testing conducted for
screening or diagnostic purposes at schools, correctional
facilities, employee testing programs, long-term care facilities,
and rapid testing performed in pharmacies, medical providers
offices, and drive-thru and pop-up testing sites.
- Hospitalizations and deaths of patients due to COVID-19 must be reported by healthcare providers within one day of identification. In addition, providers performing CLIA-waived point-of-care tests must report all positive tests.
Hospitalizations, and Deaths
Both health care providers (HCP) and laboratories are required to report cases of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pursuant to provisions of title 17, California Code of Regulations sections 2500 and 2505 (hereinafter, all references to sections are to title 17 of the California Code of Regulations). HCP reporting is required under section 2500, (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 17, § 2500, subd. (b), (j).) Laboratory reporting is required under section 2505, (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 17, § 2505, subd. (e)(1).) Order of the State Public Health Officer: Revision of Mandatory Reporting of Covid-19 Results by Health Care Providers
Healthcare providers must report all laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations and all deaths caused by or related to COVID-19 according to the standard reporting process: Disease Reporting Requirements for Health Care Providers.
All COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths must be reported by healthcare providers within one day.
The reporting of hospitalizations and deaths by health care providers is in addition to weekly reporting of hospitalized COVID-19 cases by hospitals as required under All Facilities Letter 21-25. Also, health care providers conducting point-of-care testing must still report positive test results consistent with the requirements for laboratories.
Complete all sections of the COVID-19 Confidential Morbidity Report Form and submit to the County of San Diego Epidemiology Unit by fax to (858) 715-6458.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
Report cases that meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case definition of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) within 1 working day to the County of San Diego Epidemiology Unit by fax to (858) 715-6458.
See the CDC MIS-C web page for more information about MIS-C.
On April 6, 2022, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a letter modifying COVID-19 reporting requirements.
Testing Conducted in Facilities Certified Under CLIA to perform Non-waived (Moderate- or High-Complexity) Testing
- Continue to report all laboratory-based SARS-CoV-2 NAAT
results, including positive and non-positive (i.e., negative,
indeterminate). Examples of NAAT tests include reverse
transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR), transcription-mediated amplification
(TMA), loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), and strand
displacement amplification (SDA).
- Continue to
report all antibody/serology testing results, including positive and
non-positive (negative, indeterminate).
- Report SARS-CoV-2 POSITIVE results of non-NAAT diagnostic
testing (e.g., high throughput antigen testing).
- Laboratories must continue to follow all State and CLIA requirements for recording and maintaining all laboratory results.
Testing Conducted in Facilities with a CLIA Certificate of Waiver
- Report SARS-CoV-2 POSITIVE diagnostic results only.
- Reporting of non-positive results (i.e., negative,
indeterminate) is no longer required.
includes rapid testing conducted for screening or diagnostic
purposes at schools, correctional facilities, employee testing
programs, long-term care facilities, and rapid testing performed
in pharmacies, medical providers offices, and drive-thru and
popup testing sites.
- Testing facilities must continue to follow all State and CLIA requirements for recording and maintaining all laboratory results.
- Reporting of non-positive results (i.e., negative, indeterminate) is no longer required.
Laboratories that test San Diego County residents (regardless of the physical location of the laboratory) must register with CDPH for electronic laboratory reporting (ELR). Information about how to establish an electronic connection with CDPH to route positive and negative COVID-19 results to San Diego County can be found at the CDPH Health Information Exchange Gateway.
Until labs are set up with ELR, for each person tested, laboratories are required to do the following daily:
- Fax positive lab result forms to (858) 715-6458.
- Negative and indeterminate test results can be
batched and emailed using encryption and password-protection to Epi-CDReporting.HHSA@sdcounty.ca.gov.
- The lab results must include key reporting data
elements, which are outlined in the California Code of Regulations,
Title 17, Section 2505, plus race/ethnicity.
- Date the specimen was obtained
- Patient identification number
- Specimen accession number or another unique specimen identifier
- Laboratory findings for the test performed
- Date that any positive laboratory findings were identified
- Name, gender, address, telephone number (if known), and date of birth of the patient
- Name, address, and telephone number of the health care provider who ordered the test
See our Clinical Laboratory Reporting and Specimen Submission Guidelines webpage for additional information on laboratory reporting in San Diego County.
Cases and deaths must be reported to the jurisdiction where the
For contact information for other health jurisdictions in California, see the CDPH Local Health Department Communicable Disease Contact Information web page for Health Care Providers/Labs.