Interim Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines for Handling and Processing Specimens Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Until more information becomes available, precautions should be taken in handling specimens that are suspected or confirmed for SARS-CoV-2. Timely communication between clinical and laboratory staff is essential to minimize the risk incurred in handling specimens from patients with possible SARS-CoV-2 infection. Such specimens should be labeled accordingly, and the laboratory should be alerted to ensure proper specimen handling. General and specific biosafety guidelines for handling SARS-CoV-2 specimens are provided below. For additional information on handling SARS-CoV-2 specimens, refer to the Laboratory Frequently Asked Questions.
All laboratories should perform a site-specific and activity-specific risk assessment to identify and mitigate risks. Risk assessments and mitigation measures are dependent on:
- The procedures performed
- Identification of the hazards involved in the process and/or procedures
- The competency level of the personnel who perform the procedures
- The laboratory equipment and facility
- The resources available