11/18/2020: Lab Advisory: Waste Management Guidance for SARS-CoV-2 Point-of-Care Testing

CDC's Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS)

Audience: Clinical Laboratory Professionals

Level: Laboratory Advisory

When disposing of waste generated from SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care testing, laboratories and testing sites should treat all waste from suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient specimens and kit components as biohazardous waste. Since waste regulations vary from state to state, disposal must comply with all applicable local, regional, national, and international regulations. Personnel should follow guidance according to federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial regulatory requirements.

Facilities should also perform a site-specific and activity-specific risk assessment to identify and mitigate risks. Risk assessments and mitigation measures depend on several factors:

  • The procedures performed
  • Identification of the hazards involved in the process and/or procedures
  • The competency level of the personnel who perform the procedures
  • The laboratory equipment and facility
  • The resources available

Follow Standard Precautions when handling clinical specimens, all of which may contain potentially infectious materials. Follow routine laboratory practices and procedures for decontamination of work surfaces and management of laboratory waste.

Online resources:

For questions, please contact us at LOCS@cdc.gov.

Thank you,

The Laboratory Outreach Communication System

Laboratory Outreach Communication System | Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS)

Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services (CSELS)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)