This guidance was developed to help pediatric practices determine when to test for severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in their patient population. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the implementation of public health surveillance that tests at a population level to identify local outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in communities in partnership with health care providers and local public health departments. Such plans should be supported with appropriate resources and can inform local levels of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Testing for SARS-CoV-2 in practice can inform individual patient care, and testing at a population level helps determine what interventions may need to be put in place to control the spread of disease within a community.