COVID Antigen Testing at Allina E.D.

COVID-19 antigen testing available in Allina Health Emergency Departments for symptomatic patients

To Know: Antigen testing is only available in the Allina Health EDs to more efficiently triage and improve the flow of ED patients.

–         Effective Dec. 8, COVID-19 Antigen testing is available for Allina Health ED patients who present within five days of COVID-19 symptom onset.

–         This test is most effective in diagnosing COVID-19 when the positivity rates in the community exceed 20%. 

–         It is only accurate within the first five days of symptom onset.

–         Clinical leadership and Allina Health Laboratory leadership have determined that the most effective use of antigen testing in our health system is in the ED environment to facilitate more rapid triage of patients either to the inpatient setting or to discharge.

–         The Excellian COVID-19 collection order will be updated to capture date of symptom onset. Excellian will prompt ordering user for date of symptom onset to drive appropriate test selection (Antigen or PCR). 

To Do:

–         Please share this new option in the ED for COVID-19 testing, noting the need to identify date of symptom onset with patient when COVID-19 testing is ordered. 

–         Please share that this testing is not a substitute for pre-procedure screening, pre-admittance screening or employee testing for return to work purposes following high-risk exposures.

–         Refer to the attached pdf COVID Lab Testing FAQs  and OR and Procedural FAQ for COVID testing operations for more information about acceptable testing.