Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Sample Shipping
Guidelines, Temperature Indicators, Packaging, and Labels
Many pharmacies, including Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and CVS are creating drive-up Coronavirus testing facilities, which will greatly increase testing capacity in the United States.
With this sharp increase in availability of testing, it is essential to follow test sample shipping guidelines to avoid "false negative" test results as much as possible. A false negative is when someone WITH the virus is informed that they DO NOT HAVE the virus.
To ensure test samples do not yield false negatives, it is critical to observe these COVID-19 test kit shipping rules listed below from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC). It is recommended that when transporting samples from testing sites to diagnostic facilities that you use temperature indicators. Samples not shipped according to these rules may be rejected:
- Test samples must be kept frozen or between 2 – 8 °C (35.6 – 46.4 °F) at all times as they are sent to labs for diagnosis. Exposure to temperatures outside that range can compromise test samples and result in "false-negative" results. A false-negative possibly has dangerous implications to further spread of the virus as individuals may not self-quarantine if they do not believe they are infected.
- Samples older than 72-hours are unacceptable, unless the sample(s) are frozen.
- Samples must be shipped as UN3373, Biological Substance, Category B
- Improperly labeled, grossly contaminated, broken, or with significant leakage in transit will be rejected.
- Improperly collected, ie. swabs with calcium alginate or cotton tips, swabs with wooden shafts are unacceptable.
- Specimens collected in contact with substances inhibitory to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology including heparin, hemoglobin, ethanol, and EDTA will be rejected.
The CDC and LabCorp have specified guidelines for whether a specimen is collected properly, sent properly, and packaged correctly. Labelmaster wants to help all involved in packaging and shipping these test samples. This information and product supplies will support proper packaging, labeling, and temperature indication.
To ensure that each sample is transported within U.S. CDC guidelines, we offer the following products to keep samples safe and compliant in transit:
Shipping Temperature Indicators
Insulated Biological Shipping Packaging
Test Sample Shipping Labels
Related Products FOR EFFECTIVELY RESPONDING TO COVID-19
Whether you are shipping disinfectants, ingredients used to make disinfectants or hand sanitizers or handling biohazards or other medical wastes, safety is the utmost importance. These labels, signs, placards, and other supplies can help keep your workplace, employees, and everyone throughout the supply chain safe and compliant.
Biohazard Shipping and Handling Labels and Accessories
Help keep your workplace safe and comply with OSHA and EPA requirements. Use biohazard labels to affix to containers of regulated waste, refrigerators and freezers containing blood, and other containers used to store, transport or ship blood or other potentially infectious materials. Hazardous waste labels help keep containers in compliance with EPA regulations.
Not all substances in the workplace are easily recognized as biohazards. Often times, biological and chemical elements are unknowingly dangerous and need to be handled with utmost care. Use Biohazard Floor Signs to communicate specific hazards to others and keep them safe from entering into harmful environments.
Bulk Shipment Placards
When transporting bulk shipments of commodities such as hydrogen peroxide, ethanol, alcohols, and methanol, help keep the supply chain safe with DOT-compliant placards.
Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing-in-us.html
List of State Health Departments: https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html
List of State and Territorial Public Health Laboratories: https://www.aphl.org/membership/Pages/memberlabs.aspx
List of State / Federal Test Labs: https://www.aphl.org/programs/preparedness/Crisis-Management/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/programs/preparedness/Crisis-Management/Documents/CLIA%20COC%20and%20COA%20Labs%20w_Virology_Subspecialty_3-6-2020.xlsx&action=default
List of Test Kit Manufacturers: https://www.thomasnet.com/articles/top-suppliers/medical-testing-kits-suppliers/
List of Commercial Test Labs: https://www.acla.com/about-us/members-2/