Requesting COVID-19 Testing at IDPH Laboratories

picture_as_pdf Downloadable Guidance

Interim Guidance (subject to change); March 19, 2020

New IDPH Testing Requirements

Because of COVID-19 test kit and supply constraints, the IDPH laboratories will only accept:

  • Specimens from hospitalized patients with severe acute lower respiratory illness (e.g., pneumonia) or
  • Specimens from clusters in a congregate setting that serves more vulnerable populations such as a supportive care facility, assisted living facility, group home, homeless shelter, or correctional setting.

IDPH Testing Authorization

Testing authorization will be through an on-line request (described below) or by contacting your local health department. Only COVID-19 specimens with an authorization number will be tested at the IDPH Laboratories.

Testing for other individuals should generally be performed at non-IDPH laboratories until further notice. A list of commercial laboratories providing testing is on the IDPH website. See the March 18, 2020 IDPH Clinical and Public Health Guidance for Managing COVID-19 for additional information.

On-line Test Request

  • IDPH has created an on-line form for providers to use to request testing for COVID-19 from the IDPH labs for patients who meet the criteria outlined above.
  • Providers must complete information on the patient and the submitter, as well as answer specific questions regarding the testing criteria.
  • If approved, the provider will receive an automatic email notification with the authorization number, and instructions on specimen collection and submission of the IDPH Laboratory Requisition form. The provided authorization number must be included on the requisition form.
  • If denied, the provider will receive an automatic email notification with notice that the testing is not approved at the state lab, due to test kit and supply constraints.
  • The local health jurisdiction will also be alerted when a provider makes a request (approval or denial). A provider may contact their local health jurisdiction if they believe an error has occurred or they believe testing of their patient is warranted and they were not approved.
  • All notifications are sent within minutes.

To request testing of a patient who meets the testing requirements, click on this link:
If this link does not work, copy and paste the following link into your browser: