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IDH Protocol for COVID-19 Variants

Posted Aug 13, 20212 min Read

Regulatory & Clinical

Please Note:  On August 6, 2021, the Indiana Department of Health (IDH) released a new protocol to help detect and manage COVID-19 variants, in an effort to streamline the process.  This new protocol will begin on August 9, 2021, and replaces the protocol that was issued on July 15, 2021.  On August 13, 2021, IDH also updated providers that the process would be extended to include weekends.

Accordingly, on and after August 9, IDH will adhere to the following protocol when three (3) or more cases are reported via RedCaps at a long-term care facility (whether the three (3) cases are among residents and/or staff):

  • IDH will contact the facility to find out the details of the cases and the vaccination status of the affected individuals.  IDH will then provide a line list to track specimen collection.  Test kits cannot be sent to the facility until a completed line list is provided to IDH.
  • The Indiana National Guard will arrive with test kits and labels at the opening of the next day, including weekends.  The facility should then collect nasopharyngeal (NP) specimens from all residents and staff on the unit(s) where the cases were identified and attach the provided labels to the specimens.
  • Facilities should plan to complete the collection by 1 PM and return the specimens to the Indiana National Guard members, so they can deliver the specimens to IDH’s laboratory in Indianapolis by 4:30 PM.  The Indiana National Guard will not return on a different day to collect any remaining specimens.
  • IDH’s laboratory will then provide the results of the tests to the contact provided on the line list.

There is no change in IDH’s Infection Control Standard Operating Procedure or Visitation Guidance with regard to outbreak testing, transmission-based precautions, visitation, excursions, or other processes when there is an outbreak, which is defined as one (1) or more facility-onset case(s).  This is just a new protocol when three (3) or more cases occur to help identify variants.

Clinical questions may be emailed to Dr. Shireesha Vuppalanchi at, and all other questions regarding this protocol may be emailed to