BCHHS Public Health Provider Alert: Updated antigen testing guidance & more info on COVID-19 Vaccine

December 11, 2020

Updated Antigen Testing Guidance

  • As promised in my last email, NCDHHS has updated their guidance on Antigen Testing for Clinicians and Laboratories (also attached). Please review this guidance if you use or plan to implement antigen testing in your clinic.
    • Updates to this guidance include:
      • Use of antigen tests in decisions regarding duration of quarantine
      • Use of antigen tests in coordinated screening programs
      • Reporting requirements and methods
  • In addition, the flowchart on Using, Interpreting, & Responding to COVID-19 Antigen Tests (also attached) is updated with footnote #6 to reflect the use of antigen tests in decisions on the duration of quarantine.
  • Healthcare providers are required to report the aggregate number of positive and negative nucleic acid COVID-19 diagnostic tests and the aggregate number of positive and negative antigen COVID-19 diagnostic tests per day to the NC Division of Public Health through the Electronic COVID-19 Aggregate Test Reporting (eCATR) Process.

COVID Vaccine Provider Enrollment

  • On a call with Health Directors yesterday, NCDHHS staff said they would be opening up provider enrollment in the state’s COVID-19 vaccine administration program on a broader scale next week. STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFO AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.
  • I encourage you to watch the 12/15 webinar highlighted below to learn more about the state’s plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution directly from NCDHHS.
    • While there is nothing for you to complete at this time, here is a brief overview of the process to become an enrolled COVID-19 vaccine provider:
      • In order to be able to administer COVID vaccine, providers must complete a specific COVID-19 vaccination provider enrollment form as required by the CDC and enroll in the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (CVMS).
      • CVMS is a secure, cloud-based COVID-19 vaccine management system that providers will use to:
        • Enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program
        • Manage COVID-19 vaccine inventory
        • Schedule clinics/vaccine appointments (if needed)
        • Track COVID-19 vaccine administration
        • Produce and analyze reports on COVID-19 vaccinations
      • Information will flow from CVMS to the NC Immunization Registry (NCIR) to create complete immunization records, while maintaining HIPAA compliance.
      • At this time, CVMS does not integrate with EHRs, but the state is exploring options for EHR integration in the future.
      • Once enrolled, there will be virtual orientation/training sessions for how to use the system.
      • Enrollment and training are free to providers.
  • Vaccine distribution to enrolled providers will depend on how much vaccine is allocated to the state, what phase of vaccine distribution NC is in, and the populations served by specific providers (to align with phases).
  • It is acceptable to bill insurance or submit claims to HRSA for vaccine administration, but vaccine recipients should not be billed for vaccination.


Upcoming Webinars on COVID-19 Vaccine:

  • CDC COCA Call webinar on Monday, 12/14 from 1-2pm: What Every Clinician Should Know about COVID-19 Vaccine Safety
    • During this webinar, clinicians will learn how they can educate their patients on what to expect after COVID-19 vaccination. In addition, they will learn how they can play an important role in monitoring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, including encouraging patients to enroll in v-safe and to use v-safe to report how they’re feeling. Clinicians also will learn how to report adverse events (possible side effects) to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).


  • NCDHHS/NC AHEC webinar on Tuesday, 12/15 from 6-7pmCOVID-19 Vaccine: What NC Practices Need to Know
    • State Health Director and CMO Dr. Betsey Tilson and others from NCDHHS will review NC’s plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
    • Join the Zoom meeting room on your computer, or dial-in at (646) 558-8656 using webinar ID 131 899 801.

This global pandemic remains an ever-changing situation. Please continue to check the CDC and NC DHHS websites for more information.

Contact the Buncombe County Communicable Disease staff at 828-250-5109 (available 24/7) or the NC Division of Public Health epidemiologist on-call line at 919-733-3419 (available 24/7) for additional consultation about COVID-19 or other public health concerns.