Covid-19 Test: Specimen Collection Requirements

The current diagnostic sample set is:

An upper respiratory tract sample either:

  • a single swab used for throat then nose in either: (i) a yellow capped Roche PCR medium or (ii) a orange capped Bioer preservative medium. (NOTE: blue or green capped viral tubes can be used in exceptional circumstances but must be kept refrigerated between 2-8oC if there is a delay in transporting to the laboratory)

A lower respiratory tract specimen

  • is encouraged to maximise the chances of detecting any pathogens. However, avoid induction of sputum.

For guidance on Covid-19 swab specimen collection, click here.

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 Covid-19 RNA request 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: January 8, 2021