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Test Code LAB20449 SARS-COV-2 Qualitative


Send Outs

Reference Lab Test Number


Collection Requirements

Send one nasopharyngeal swab collected in Viral Transport UTM

Primary Collection Container

Viral Transport UTM

Alternate Collection Container

One oropharyngeal swab or NP/OP sent frozen in viral transport media.



Preferred Transport Temperature



One nasopharyngeal swab sent FROZEN in viral transport media. Swabs must be individually packaged, one swab per biohazard bag


Room temperature: Not Recommended

Refrigerated: 72 hours

Frozen: 2 weeks

Reference Range

Not Detected


Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)




3-5 days

CPT Codes

87635 (U0003)

Unacceptable Conditions

Calcium Alginate swabs, cotton swabs with wood shaft, received room temperature or >72 hours refrigerated

Additional Information

Due to the shortage of collection kits, sample media and laboratory capacity, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has worked with the local public health and hospitals to create prioritization criteria for use of this valuable resource. It is essential to collect and test specimens of greatest public health significance to drive and inform infection prevention and control and community mitigation. Current criteria*include:

1. Individuals presenting with signs/symptoms of COVID-19 infection who are identified as a known contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 infection and are not members of the same household or congregate living situation as the confirmed case (unless as part of a public health investigation).

2. Individuals who become symptomatic while being in a 14-day monitoring and quarantine period (such as, but not limited to, monitoring due to travel from a region with widespread transmission).

3. Symptomatic individuals who are part of the public health investigation of a cluster of illness associated with a vulnerable population (e.g., long term care facility).

4. Symptomatic individuals who may be more likely to infect many of people or a vulnerable population (e.g., healthcare providers and those living in congregate settings like dorms, camps, long term care facilities).

5. Individuals presenting with severe illness requiring hospitalization and having no other identified etiology.

MDHHS advises against testing of any asymptomatic individuals with or without an exposure to COVID-19. Including healthcare workers.

*This will be adjusted as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and information needs change.

- LOINC Code: 94500-6