3.3 COVID-19 Definition of confirmed and suspected case

COVID-19 case definitions are regularly reviewed and can be found in the guidance for secondary care and are defined as:


A laboratory confirmed (detection of SARs-CoV-2 RNA in a clinical specimen) case of COVID-19. 


An individual meeting one of the following case criteria taking into account atypical and non-specific presentations in older people with frailty, those with pre-existing conditions and patients who are immunocompromised;

Community definition:

recent onset new continuous cough




loss of/change in sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

Definition for individuals requiring hospital admission:

clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia


Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome


influenza-like illness (fever greater than or equal to 37.8֯C and at least one of the following respiratory symptoms, which must be of acute onset – persistent cough (with or without sputum), hoarseness, nasal discharge or congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, wheezing, sneezing)


a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia) in isolation or in combination with any other symptoms