Covid-19 Test: Specimen Collection Requirements

The current diagnostic sample set is:

  • an upper respiratory tract sample either:
    • a single viral swab used for throat then nose in the same blue top transport tube or
    • nasopharyngeal aspirate
  • if obtainable, a lower respiratory tract sample (eg sputum or an endotracheal tube aspirate)
  • A lower respiratory tract specimen is encouraged to maximise the chances of detecting any pathogens. However, avoid induction of sputum.

DO NOT use point of care flu test in ED.

Additional samples will be required depending on other possible diagnoses.

It is important to:

  • Label the specimens with patient’s name and an identifier number and sample type
  • Complete the form indicating possible coronavirus in clinical details. Include travel / contact history
  • Double bag specimens – place specimen in bag, place this bag and form in second bag

Last updated: April 17, 2020