What COVID-19 Information Are You Required to Report to the State?
By David Doolittle

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As you’re probably aware, state laws and executive orders require you to report to state health officials all suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 as well as the results of any approved or authorized tests conducted at your facility. 

But you might not be certain exactly what information you are required to report. 

Well, the Texas Medical Association is here to help. Check out the info below, or contact the TMA Knowledge Center via email or at (800) 880-7955. 

Reporting Confirmed or Suspected Cases  

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has classified COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 as a notifiable condition, meaning all confirmed and suspected cases should be reported immediately to your local health entity

Several state laws (Health and Safety Code, Chapters 81, 84, and 87) require disease reporting to ensure public health officials can respond to disease threats before they become outbreaks. 

All reports should include the patient’s name, age, sex, race/ethnicity, date of birth, address, telephone number, disease and date of onset, and method of diagnosis. You also must report your name, practice address, and phone number. 

To make it easy, DSHS set up a hotline available 24/7 to report cases immediately: (800) 705-8868. 

Reporting Tests  

If you submit a test for COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 to a commercial or public laboratory, you should fill out any forms for demographic information the lab requests. 

If you conduct a point-of-care test that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or allowed under an emergency use authorization (EUA), you must report all results – positive, negative, and indeterminate – to DSHS. This is required under an executive order Gov. Greg Abbott signed in March.  

DSHS has guidance for how to submit these results on its website

If you have more questions about testing, the TMA COVID-19 Task Force has created a “how to” testing guide that covers:

  • The basics on PCR (molecular), serology (antibody), point-of-care, and at-home tests.
  • How to check which tests have been authorized by the FDA.
  • How to access these tests, including private and hospital laboratories, and drive-thru screening locations.
  • Getting paid, including links to coding guidance and major insurance companies’ policies.  

This quick guide serves as a supplement to the much more comprehensive frequently asked questions (FAQ) document on testing. 

Find both documents, along with the latest news, resources, and government guidance on TMA’s COVID-19 Resource Center, which is updated regularly.

Last Updated On

May 26, 2020

Originally Published On

May 26, 2020

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David Doolittle

Editor

(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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