Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) SARS-CoV-2 Test

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Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) SARS-CoV-2 Test

Patients, you must contact your physician to order Coronavirus COVID-19 testing. RealTime Laboratories, Inc. will not see patients at our facility or collect samples on site.

For healthcare providers, we are experiencing an increased call volume in Client Services. For non-urgent inquiries, such as supply orders, setting up a new account, add-on testing, etc., please email us at [email protected]

Collection of Specimens for COVID-19 Test

Nasopharyngeal swab (NP) /oropharyngeal swab (OP)

  1. Use only synthetic fiber swabs with plastic shafts. Do not use calcium alginate swabs or swabs with wooden shafts, as they may contain substances that inactivate some viruses and inhibit PCR testing.
  2. Place swabs immediately into sterile tubes containing 2-3 ml of viral transport media (or in some cases sterile saline).

Procedure for Collection:   

  1. Nasopharyngeal swab: Insert a swab into nostril parallel to the palate. Swab should reach depth equal to distance from nostrils to outer opening of the ear. Leave swab in place for several seconds to absorb secretions. Slowly remove swab while rotating it.
  2. Place swab in holding media tube and break off at the area marked on the swab.  Throw the top of the swab away in a biohazard waste container. Close the holding tube with the swab end, ensuring a very tight closure.  
  3. Place the tube with the swab in the biohazard bag which is enclosed with the kit.

Storage of Specimens if they cannot be sent immediately:    

  1. Store specimens at 2-8°C for up to 72 hours after collection.  If a delay in testing or shipping is expected, store specimens at -70°C or below. Please indicate on the test requisition that such storage was conducted.    

Shipping of Specimens:  

  1. Specimens must be packaged, shipped, and transported  as directed by RealTime Laboratories )according to the current edition of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods.    
  2. Fill out properly and signed by a licensed caregiver.
  3. Payment (Credit Card Authorization, check or money order) signed and filled out.  
  4. Collect Specimen
  5. Print on the specimen tube, in the designated areas: “Date collected, patient’s first and last name, and date of birth (DOB).”  
  6. Seal specimen in biohazard bag and place in pre-addressed envelope.  Please do not forget the appropriate forms.  
  7. Send specimen to RTL.  

All specimens should be sent immediately after collection.   If the specimen cannot be sent immediately, refrigerate (DO NOT FREEZE) the specimen until shipped to RTL.  The mailer provided by RTL is self-addressed and UPS. Prepaid, so please do not put any more postage on the mailer.  

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