2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), NAA

CPT: 87635
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  • 2019 Novel Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2

Special Instructions

Please note: Labcorp does not currently collect specimens for this test. Patients for whom testing has been ordered should not be sent to a Labcorp location to have a specimen collected. Instead, an appropriate specimen should be collected at the health care facility where the patient was seen and the test was ordered. The specimen should be sent to Labcorp using standard procedures.

Please note: It takes approximately 1 - 3 days from the date of pickup of a specimen for testing to the release of the test result to the health care provider. Test results are most typically reported electronically, which generally allows for faster delivery. This time frame can vary based on demand, the length of time to transport the specimen to Labcorp's test facilities, and the prioritization of the patients (as defined by heath care authorities and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, HHS and other health authorities). Labcorp is working continuously to support the needs of health care workers, patients, government, clients and other organizations, and expects capacity to continue to increase.

We have been regularly tracking mutations of the virus throughout the pandemic to determine the impact it would have on our test sensitivity. To date, we have not seen any impact.

Expected Turnaround Time

1 - 3 days

Specimen Requirements


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.

Anterior nasal swab in saline.

OP or NP washes/aspirates in sterile cups.

Bronchial washing or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) specimens in sterile cups.


1.4 mL

Minimum Volume

1 mL (Note: This volume does not allow for repeat testing.)


For swabs in viral transport medium or ESwab™:

Oropharyngeal (OP) samples: Swab included in viral transport medium or ESwab™ is acceptable for submission.

Nasopharyngeal (NP) samples: Use separate NP swab submitted in viral transport medium (discard OP swab included with viral transport medium or ESwab™).

Exact manufacturer of the swab and transport medium may vary with supply. Any swab of appropriate size and configuration with a synthetic tip can be used except for calcium alginate tips, swabs with preservatives, and swabs with wood 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, NP or anterior nasal 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. Any swab of appropriate size and configuration with a cotton or synthetic tip can be used except for calcium alginate tips, swabs in preservatives, and swabs with wood shafts.

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

Swab in saline in screw-top Vacuette Virus Stabilization Tube is acceptable.


To avoid delays in turnaround time when requesting multiple tests on frozen samples, please submit separate frozen specimens for each test requested.

Storage Instructions

Frozen at -20° C (preferred). Refrigerated specimens acceptable (if received for testing within 72 hours of collection). Room temperature swabs are acceptable (if received within 24 hours of collection).

Causes for Rejection

Vacutainers and other "pop-top" tubes; cotton-tip swabs in UTM/VTM; swabs with calcium alginate; swabs with wooden shafts; refrigerated samples greater than 72 hours old; room temperature swabs greater than 24 hours old; improperly labeled, grossly contaminated, broken or leaking transport device; collection with substances inhibitory to PCR including heparin, hemoglobin, ethanol, EDTA concentrations >0.01M; specimens submitted in glass tubes/containers; dry swab without media; swabs in "molecular media" (such as PrimerStore MTM or other guanidine-containing media); Aptima swabs; swabs in gel-based, anaerobic, or charcoal media; 3D printed swabs; Hanks' balanced salt solution or specimens submitted without swabs

Test Details


Detection of SARS-CoV-2 to assist in the diagnosis of COVID-2019 infections.


Nucleic Acid Amplification (NAA)


Order Code Order Code Name Order Loinc Result Code Result Code Name UofM Result LOINC
139900 SARS-CoV-2, NAA 94500-6 139901 SARS-CoV-2, NAA 94500-6
Reflex Table for SARS-CoV-2, NAA
Order Code Order Name Result Code Result Name UofM Result LOINC
Reflex 1 998900 SARS-CoV-2, NAA 2 DAY TAT 998900 SARS-CoV-2, NAA 2 DAY TAT N/A

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