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Governor Lamont Suspends Regulations to Expand COVID-19 Testing

May 11, 2020

Governor Ned Lamont recently announced that, in order to significantly increase the ability of Connecticut residents to be tested for COVID-19, his administration is suspending certain state healthcare regulations that prescribe who may order diagnostic tests and provide such tests. Specifically, for the duration of the state public health emergency, patients are no longer required to receive a referral from a physician or other prescribing medical provider (e.g., physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or certified nurse practitioner) prior to being administered a COVID-19 test and pharmacists may now order and administer such tests.

On May 6, 2020, Department of Public Health (“DPH”) Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell issued an order modifying section 19a-36-D29(a) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies such that there is no longer a requirement that “a request for collection or analysis of a COVID-19 specimen be made by a licensed physician or other licensed person authorized by law to make diagnoses.” In addition, the Commissioner’s order modified section 19a-36-D32(a) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies such that there is no longer a requirement for laboratories to report the COVID-19 test results to a licensed provider, if the test was not ordered by such a provider. However, in the event a licensed provider does order the test, a laboratory is still required to report its findings on a COVID-19 specimen to the licensed provider.

On May 7, 2020, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order No. 7KK, which modifies section 19a-36-D29 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies to permit pharmacists to order and administer Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved COVID-19 tests. Pharmacists are required to report all testing activities in accordance with applicable DPH orders and guidelines.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Health Law Practice Group at Shipman & Goodwin LLP.

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