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SELF COLLECTION OF COVID19 PCR SWABS MUST CEASE
26 March 2020
26 MAR 2020
This email is being sent at the express direction of Dr Tom Dodd, Clinical Director of Services, SA Pathology and Assoc Prof Nicola Spurrier, Chief Public Health Officer.
˃ It has come to the attention of SA Pathology and SA Health that some GPs are allowing patients to “self collect” their own nasal PCR swab for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID19) testing. This must cease immediately.
˃ These swabs are not suitable for testing as they have not been collected properly.
˃ Dr Dodd has stated “clearly these may not be adequate samples and therefore wasteful of resources and give false negatives. Also the samples are likely not to be correctly packaged and will present an infection risk to collection staff, couriers and lab staff.
Clearly we are anxious to do the best by our patients and GPs are known for being creative and using work arounds. However in this instance we must only test as per the CDCB testing guidelines. We must be aware of the greater public health considerations.
Dr Danny Byrne Daniel.Byrne@sa.gov.au
Dr Emily Kirkpatrick Emily.Kirkpatrick@adelaide.edu.au
SA Health COVID-19 GP Liaison Team
Department for Health and Wellbeing