COVID-19 Specimen Transport Media and Swabs for Test Code 7305
Multiple specimens should be submitted on individual requisitions to ensure testing of each; submit separate samples for other tests such as respiratory pathogens. Place each specimen in an individual transport bad and ensure the specimen is properly labelled and the source is clearly indicated.
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Collection instructions for Nasopharyngeal Swabs
- Tile the patient's head back 70 degrees and insert the swab into the nostril, parallel to the palate (the swab should reach a depth equal to the distance from the nostrils to the outer opening of the ear).
- Leave the swab in place for several seconds to absorb secretions.
- Slowly remove the swab while rotating it.
- Place the tip of the swab into the transport media and snap off the applicator stick.
- Ensure cap is properly sealed and refrigerate (this step is critical).
Collection instructions for Saline Collection Media
We prefer that you use our collection supplies and we will get them to you as quickly as possible.
If you have to urgently sample a patient, you should use:
- 0.9% commercially-prepared sterile, preservative-free saline
- Sterile, clean plastic transport tubes, no larger than 15 mL capacity (15 mL polypropylene tubes by Falcon, Fisher and others are acceptable)
- At least 2 mL (but no more than 3 mL) fill volume as underfilling prevents retesting and overfilling will be rejected as this decreases test sensitivity.
- Use of an approved flocked or foam swab. All saline swabs are critically refrigerated and shipped refrigerated unless testing cannot be conducted within 72 hours, in which case these should be frozen -20°C. Glass tubes cannot be frozen. If using a plastic saline tube, there is no need to transport inside of the U50.
List of currently approved COVID-19 individually-wrapped swabs
- Pirutan Nasopharyngeal swabs:
- 25-3317-H, 25-1406 1 PF 50f, 25-800 1PD 50**, 25-3320-U, 25-3320-H EMB 80, 25-3320-U EMB 80, 25-3320-H EMB 100 and 25-3320-U EMB 100
- Copan Nasopharyngeal swabs:
- 503CS01, 518CS01, 501CS01, 502CS01
- Copan dry standard fiber swabs:
- BD Nasopharyngeal swabs:
- 220252 and 220251
- DHI / Quidel Nasopharyngeal swabs:
- Fisher Healthcare Nasopharyngeal swabs:
- 23600952, 23600956 and 23600950
- Fisherbrand polyester-tipped swab:
- Addition sterile flocked swabs from Puritan that may be used:
- 25-3316-U, 35-3316-H, 25-3317-U, 25-3318-U, 25-3318-H, 25-3320-U, 25-3320-H and 25-3319-H
f Form swab | ** Polyester swab
Sputum: Have the patient rinse their mouth with water and then expectorate deep cough sputum directly into a sterile, leak-proof, screw-cap sputum collection cup or sterile dry container. Do not induce sputum. Refrigerate the specimen at 2-8°C. If the specimen will not reach the laboratory within 48 hours of collection, freeze and ship on dry ice.
Bronchoalveolar Lavage, Tracheal Aspirate: Collect 2-3 mL into a sterile, leak-proof, screw-cap sputum collection cup or sterile dry container. Refrigerate the specimen at 2-8°C. If the specimen will not reach the laboratory within 48 hours of collection, freeze and ship on dry ice.