In a recent post on, the CDC said it is looking to partner with organizations to form a cloud-based platform to create a centralized hub for COVID-19 testing.

Specifically, the CDC said it is looking to partner with one or more organizations that have the “infrastructure, capability, scalability, and safeguards to enable centralized public health laboratory data reporting from testing entities to state and large local health departments, with a focus on multi-state, large regional, and state-wide reporting entities.”

Under Section 18115 of the CARES Act, facilities and providers ordering COVID-19 tests to gather more complete patient demographic data – which includes 31 data elements. The demographic data must then be sent to state and large local public health departments. Those public health departments are then required to deidentify the data and send it to the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services.

In its posting, CDC noted that more than 200 large-scale and multi-state testing entities have inquired about options for centralized reporting of results as opposed to developing individuals or using multiple reporting solutions. “COVID testing entities have communicated they are challenged by the reporting requirements to individual state, local, and county health departments,” the CDC said. “Some organizations stated they provide daily reporting of test results to over 70 public health departments, each differing in format and elements required.”

Creating a centralized cloud-based platform would enable more widespread and accessible reporting from the private and commercial sectors to “ensure more complete reporting of testing data, help testing entities more efficiently report testing data, and transmit these critical data to state and large local health departments promptly so that the health departments can plan and execute timely COVID-19 control and mitigation efforts.”

While this posting is not a solicitation for proposals, CDC did note that it would expect the eventual contractor to be able to accept a variety of data transmissions and provide basic data validation to testing entities, any necessary data transformations, and secure storage and retrieval capability for jurisdictional health departments. Data should be provided by secure transmittal of identified data to state and large local health departments on a real-time or daily basis.

While the platform would be immediately deployed to support COVID-19 testing reporting, the CDC anticipates it would be expanded in the future to include other reportable conditions and other data streams (e.g. immunizations, electronic case reporting, and other electronic health record data).

Interesting organizations are asked to submit information about “their capability, proven past performance, and capacity to leverage a secure and scalable cloud-based platform” to achieve the CDC’s reporting needs. Submissions are due Nov. 30, 2020.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.