CDC HEALTH ADVISORY: identification and Testing of COVID-19 Persons Under Investigation (PUIs)


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and other state and local health departments (LHDs) continue to respond to an outbreak of COVID-19 respiratory disease.

COVID-19 cases without known exposure or travel risk factors have been reported by state health departments in California, Oregon and Washington. These cases are thought to represent community spread.

The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including illness resulting in death. There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

On February 27, 2020, CDC revised their “Criteria to Guide Evaluation of Persons Under Investigation for COVID-19.” The revised criteria reflect:

  • Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea have been added as affected geographic areas with widespread or sustained community transmission, in addition to China.
    Additions or other changes to the list of affected geographic areas with widespread or sustained community transmission will be made as needed.
  • The addition of individuals with febrile severe acute lower respiratory disease requiring hospitalization without known exposure or travel risk factors without alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., negative testing results from a respiratory virus panel).

LHDs, in consultation with clinicians, should determine whether a patient is a PUI for COVID-2019. These criteria have been developed by CDC based on available information about this novel virus, as well as what is known about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). These criteria are subject to change as additional information becomes available.

See the full report, links and contact information :

Download the PDF File: Evaluating and Reporting Persons Under Investigation (PUI)