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Test #


Test CPT Codes


COVID-19 Virus Testing by RT-PCR

Test Type


Test Disease / Components

COVID-19 Infection

Test Technology


Clinical Utility


Test Specimen

  • Oropharyngeal (OP) collection in viral transport medium, ESwab™, or saline. Nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs also accepted in viral transport medium (discard OP swab included with viral transport medium), ESwab™, or saline. OP or NP washes/aspirates in sterile cups. Bronchial washing or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) specimens in sterile cups.

  • Additional specimens accepted include mid-turbinate swabs, nasal swabs, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and nasopharyngeal aspirate (nasal aspirate).

Specimen Collection

  • Any swab of appropriate size and configuration with a synthetic tip and shaft can be used except for calcium alginate tips, swabs with preservatives, and swabs with wood or paper shafts. 

  • Viral transport medium acceptable for collection of influenza specimens in 1 mL or 3 mL volumes can be used to transport swabs for COVID-19 testing. 

  • For swabs in saline: 

  • OP or NP swabs may be placed in 1 to 3 mL of sterile saline (0.85 to 0.9%) in a sterile screw cap container. 

  • Do not use vacutainer or "pop-top" tubes. 

  • Sterile cups are acceptable for OP or NP washes/aspirates, bronchial washings, or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) specimens.


  • Not Detected, Detected, Indeterminate, Invalid, Quantity not Sufficient (QNS)

Storage and Stability

Turnaround Time (TAT)

>24 hours

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