TEST CATALOG ORDERING & RESULTS SPECIMEN HANDLING CUSTOMER SERVICE EDUCATION & INSIGHTS
Test Catalog

Test ID: COVID    
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA Detection, PCR, Varies

Testing Algorithm Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

In response to the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) payment strategy for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnostic testing, a bill-only code will be added for orders that meet the new CMS turn-around-time requirement. For additional information refer to www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-changes-medicare-payment-support-faster-covid-19-diagnostic-testing.

Specimen Type Describes the specimen type validated for testing

Varies

Advisory Information

Due to the non-specific clinical presentation of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the early stages of illness, testing for other respiratory tract infections (eg, influenza) may be warranted.

 

For the most up-to-date COVID-19 epidemiology and testing recommendations, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Shipping Instructions

Ship specimens refrigerated (if less than 72 hours from collection to arrive at MCL) or frozen (if greater or equal to 72 hours from collection to arrive at MCL).

Specimen Required Defines the optimal specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing

Specimen Type: Nasopharyngeal (NP), oropharyngeal (OP; ie, throat), nasal mid-turbinate, or nares/nasal swab

Supplies:

-Swab, Sterile Polyester, 10 per package (T507)

-Dacron-tipped swab with plastic shaft is acceptable

Container/Tube: Universal transport media, viral transport media, or equivalent (eg, Copan UTM-RT, BD VTM, MicroTest M4, M4-RT, M5)

Media should not contain guanidine thiocyanate (GTC).

For more information on acceptable transport media, see www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/faqs-diagnostic-testing-sars-cov-2

Specimen Volume: Entire specimen with a minimum of 1.5 mL (maximum 3 mL) of transport media.

Collection Instructions:

1. Collect specimen by swabbing back and forth over nasal or pharyngeal mucosa surface to maximize recovery of cells. For more information on OP swab specimen collection, see COVID-19 Oropharyngeal Collection Instructions in Special Instructions.

2. NP and OP swab specimens may be combined at collection into a single vial of transport media but only one swab is required for analysis.

3. Swab must be placed into transport medium. Swab shaft should be broken or cut so that there is no obstruction to the sample or pressure on the media container cap.

4. Do not send in glass tubes, vacutainer tubes, or tubes with push caps.

5. Do not overfill with more than 3 mL total volume of media.

 

Specimen Type: Nasopharyngeal aspirate or nasal washings

Container/Tube: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: Minimum of 1.5 mL

Additional Information: Do not aliquot into viral transport media, glass tubes, vacutainer tubes, or tubes with push caps.

 

Specimen Type: Lower respiratory tract

Sources: Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, bronchial washings, endotracheal aspirate, sputum

Container/Tube: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: Minimum of 1.5 mL

Additional Information: Do not aliquot into viral transport media, glass tubes, vacutainer tubes, or tubes with push caps.

Special Instructions Library of PDFs including pertinent information and forms related to the test

Forms

If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a General Request (T239) with the specimen.

Specimen Minimum Volume Defines the amount of sample necessary to provide a clinically relevant result as determined by the Testing Laboratory

See Specimen Required

Reject Due To Identifies specimen types and conditions that may cause the specimen to be rejected

Calcium alginate-tipped swab, wooden shaft swab, or swab collection tubes containing gel or charcoal additive.
Transport media tubes containing the entire swab (shaft and knob attached)
Glass transport media tubes
Bloody specimen
Reject
Thawed Cold OK; Warm reject

Specimen Stability Information Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the performing laboratory, alternate acceptable temperatures are also included

Specimen TypeTemperatureTimeSpecial Container
VariesFrozen (preferred)14 days
 Refrigerated 72 hours