For the testing on COVID-19 specimens from the upper (nasopharyngeal) and the lower (oropharyngeal) respiration tract should be taken. In case that only one specimen is taken, different guidelines suggest to take a nasopharyngeal swab.
It is possible to take multiple specimens from the same patient with a single swab. In the case that more than multiple swabs are used to collect specimens from two different locations in the same patient, it is possible to insert both in the same vial with virus-transportation medium. The vial should contain 2-3ml of a suitable virus transportation medium.
Clinical samples that are suspected to contain SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) should only be taken with synthetic (preferably flocked) fiber swabs (e.g. nylon) that have a plastic shaft, swabs with wooden shafts or calcium alginate swabs should not be used, as such materials potentially inactivate certain viruses. Suitable Swabs for COVID-19 testing are Flocked Sampling Swab for Nasopharyngeal application or Flocked Sampling Swab for Oropharyngeal application