Ordering Recommendations

Reference respiratory virus communications for most recent information: Provider News and Publications

Collection Instructions

Nasopharyngeal swab method (preferred)
Use only synthetic fiber swabs with plastic shafts. Do not use calcium alginate swabs
or swabs with wooden shafts, as they may contain substances that inhibit PCR testing.
1.) Carefully insert swab into the nostril parallel to the palate.
2.) Rotate swab over the surface of the posterior nasopharynx, keeping the swab in the nasopharynx for several seconds to absorb secretions.
3.) Slowly withdraw the swab from the collection site.
4.) Insert immediately into sterile tubes containing 3mL transport media. You will need to break off or cut the swab shaft to fit into the vial. 
5.) Securely close the vial.
6.) Label the vial with specimen identification label or hand label. Specimen must be labeled with last name, first name and date of birth.
7.) Place each vial in a separate, individual specimen transport bag. Seal the zip lock. Place folded paper requisition in the outer front pocket of the transport bag.


Nasal Swab Method
1.) Carefully insert the swab into the nostril that has the most visible drainage or that is the most congested if drainage is not visible. Swab should be inserted until resistance is met or approximately 2.5 cm into the nasal cavity.
2.) Gently rotate the swab 5 times around the nasal wall.
3.) Slowly remove from the nostril.
4.) Repeat process by carefully inserting into the second nostril. Swab should be inserted until resistance is met or approximately 2.5 cm into the nasal cavity. Gently rotate the swab 5 times around the nasal wall. Slowly remove from the nostril.
5.) Immediately place the swab in the vial with the transport medium. You will need to break off or cut the swab shaft to fit into the vial.
6.) Securely close the vial.
7.) Label vial with specimen identification label or hand label. Specimen must be labeled with last name, first name and date of birth.
8.) Place each vial in a separate, individual specimen transport bag. Seal the zip lock. Place folded paper requisition in the outer front pocket of the transport bag.

Nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate
1.) Collect 2-3mL in a sterile, leak-proof, screw-cap sputum collection cup or sterile dry container.
2.) Place each container in a separate, individual specimen transport bag. Seal the zip lock. Place the folded paper requisition
in the outer front pocket of the transport bag.

Collect

Upper respiratory specimens: nasopharyngeal swab in UTM or nasal swab in UTM.
Nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate also acceptable.

Lower respiratory specimens: BAL, Bronchial Wash

Specimen source required.  
State mandated epidemiological data for contact tracing is absolutely required.

Storage/Transport Temperature

Transport to laboratory immediately at ambient temperature.
If transport will be delayed more than 24 hours, specimen must be stored and transported at 2-8°C

DO NOT FREEZE.

 

Unacceptable Conditions

Unlabeled specimens.
Leaking or non-sterile containers.
Wooden swabs.
Swabs in inappropriate transport media.
Unlabeled or expired transport media.
Frozen samples.
Specimens submitted without a source.  

Remarks

Testing for COVID-19 is available based on the provider’s clinical judgement. At a minimum, patients should have influenza-like illness or febrile lower respiratory infection. Tesing of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic patients may be appropriate in some circumstances.
 

Stability (from collection to initiation)

Ambient: 24 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C): 7 days

Collection device

Universal Transport Media



ESwab Mini-Tip will also be accepted, but testing for additional respiratory pathogens cannot be performed.

Minimum Requirements

1.0 mL

Lab Section

Microbiology

Methodology

Reverse transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction 

Performed

Sun-Sat

Reported

2-3 days

Performing Laboratory Website (click below)

Reference Interval

COVID-19 nucleic acid not detected

CPT Codes

87635

CPT Codes

87635
Specimen Requirements

Ordering Recommendations

Reference respiratory virus communications for most recent information: Provider News and Publications

Collection Instructions

Nasopharyngeal swab method (preferred)
Use only synthetic fiber swabs with plastic shafts. Do not use calcium alginate swabs
or swabs with wooden shafts, as they may contain substances that inhibit PCR testing.
1.) Carefully insert swab into the nostril parallel to the palate.
2.) Rotate swab over the surface of the posterior nasopharynx, keeping the swab in the nasopharynx for several seconds to absorb secretions.
3.) Slowly withdraw the swab from the collection site.
4.) Insert immediately into sterile tubes containing 3mL transport media. You will need to break off or cut the swab shaft to fit into the vial. 
5.) Securely close the vial.
6.) Label the vial with specimen identification label or hand label. Specimen must be labeled with last name, first name and date of birth.
7.) Place each vial in a separate, individual specimen transport bag. Seal the zip lock. Place folded paper requisition in the outer front pocket of the transport bag.


Nasal Swab Method
1.) Carefully insert the swab into the nostril that has the most visible drainage or that is the most congested if drainage is not visible. Swab should be inserted until resistance is met or approximately 2.5 cm into the nasal cavity.
2.) Gently rotate the swab 5 times around the nasal wall.
3.) Slowly remove from the nostril.
4.) Repeat process by carefully inserting into the second nostril. Swab should be inserted until resistance is met or approximately 2.5 cm into the nasal cavity. Gently rotate the swab 5 times around the nasal wall. Slowly remove from the nostril.
5.) Immediately place the swab in the vial with the transport medium. You will need to break off or cut the swab shaft to fit into the vial.
6.) Securely close the vial.
7.) Label vial with specimen identification label or hand label. Specimen must be labeled with last name, first name and date of birth.
8.) Place each vial in a separate, individual specimen transport bag. Seal the zip lock. Place folded paper requisition in the outer front pocket of the transport bag.

Nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate
1.) Collect 2-3mL in a sterile, leak-proof, screw-cap sputum collection cup or sterile dry container.
2.) Place each container in a separate, individual specimen transport bag. Seal the zip lock. Place the folded paper requisition
in the outer front pocket of the transport bag.

Collect

Upper respiratory specimens: nasopharyngeal swab in UTM or nasal swab in UTM.
Nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate also acceptable.

Lower respiratory specimens: BAL, Bronchial Wash

Specimen source required.  
State mandated epidemiological data for contact tracing is absolutely required.

Storage/Transport Temperature

Transport to laboratory immediately at ambient temperature.
If transport will be delayed more than 24 hours, specimen must be stored and transported at 2-8°C

DO NOT FREEZE.

 

Unacceptable Conditions

Unlabeled specimens.
Leaking or non-sterile containers.
Wooden swabs.
Swabs in inappropriate transport media.
Unlabeled or expired transport media.
Frozen samples.
Specimens submitted without a source.  

Remarks

Testing for COVID-19 is available based on the provider’s clinical judgement. At a minimum, patients should have influenza-like illness or febrile lower respiratory infection. Tesing of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic patients may be appropriate in some circumstances.
 

Stability (from collection to initiation)

Ambient: 24 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C): 7 days

Collection device

Universal Transport Media



ESwab Mini-Tip will also be accepted, but testing for additional respiratory pathogens cannot be performed.

Minimum Requirements

1.0 mL
Testing

Lab Section

Microbiology

Methodology

Reverse transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction 

Performed

Sun-Sat

Reported

2-3 days

Performing Laboratory Website (click below)

Result Interpretation

Reference Interval

COVID-19 nucleic acid not detected
Coding

CPT Codes

87635
URM Labs Internal
Test Build

CPT Codes

87635