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New CPT codes created for COVID-19 testing currently available on the US market

A revision to code 86318 and addition of two codes are effective April 10, 2020 for use as the industry standard for reporting of novel coronavirus antibody tests across the nation’s health care system.


The previously established code 87635 was effective March 13, 2020 for novel coronavirus tests through infectious agent detection by nucleic acid.


Please note that, per the standard early release delivery process for CPT codes, you will need to manually upload these code descriptors into your EHR system. These CPT codes will arrive as part of the complete CPT code set in the data file for 2021 later this year.


Review and download the full CPT code descriptor release.


Category I/Pathology and Laboratory


Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): Long descriptors (PDF)

Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): Medium descriptors (PDF)

Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): Short descriptors (PDF)


CPT Assistant provides guidance for new codes


CPT Assistant is providing fact sheets for coding guidance for all new SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)-related testing codes.


The fact sheets include:

  • Codes, descriptors and purpose
  • Clinical examples
  • Description of the procedures
  • FAQs


Download the March 13, 2020 CPT Assistant guide (PDF)


Download the April 10, 2020 CPT Assistant guide (PDF)