We sometimes receive questions regarding the type of specimen collection devices that are used for COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing. There are a variety of different swabs, vials and transport medium. Generally what is used depends on the lab that is being used that day or at that facility. Due to ongoing capacity issues we send specimens to several different labs including Sonora Quest, ProPath and LabCorp. This helps ensure that you receive timely results. If we were to send 3,000 specimens a day to Sonora Quest they would fall even further behind resulting in incredibly long wait times. Which is why our load balancing strategy is best.
LabCorp has one of the most unique specimen collection devices which consists of a small cotton swab, sterile saline and a sterile vial. This has been fully approved under their EUA with the FDA. They have run extensive studies validating this specimen collection method. Rather than an invasive nasopharyngeal collection, it uses an anterior nares swab. Which basically means it only goes into the nose.
We have provided additional information here to help patients feel confident in the type of swab that is being used and that it has been validated.
If for any reason you choose to have the invasive nasopharyngeal swab collected, we are more than happy to fulfill that request. We always have a stock of them on hand. However, we hope that with the provided information you will feel confident in knowing that the nasal swab is an approved and validated specimen collection method.