Nasal Swab: How-To-Guide

Nasal swabs are an easy and painless collection method for COVID-19 testing. No preparation is necessary, other than making an appointment through MySHR. See the instructions below on collection, and a trained medical professional will complete the sample sealing.

View the PDF of the Nasal Swab instructions.

About Swab Testing

The swab collection is in addition to the saliva collection method that is currently available. Here’s what you should know about swab collection:

What is collected on the nasal swab?

The test is a gentle nasal swab (anterior nares) that goes approximately ½ inch into the nasal cavity or until it stops. The swab is then rotated for 15 seconds in each nostril to collect mucus. The test is painless and is administered or observed easily by a trained sample collection supervisor.

How should I prepare for the test?

No preparation is required for the test, but any ointments or creams should not be applied to the nasal cavities as they can affect the sample integrity.

Is the swab test an “at-home” test?

No. Swab tests require on-site collection.

What if I have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed?

Please use the saliva drop-off if you have been exposed or if you have symptoms. Swab testing should only be used for surveillance testing.

Testing Appointments in MySHR

Nasal Swab: Please make an appointment in MySHR for the day you are intending to have a nasal swab.  You should plan to arrive close to your scheduled time for a nasal swab, as this involves a multi-step collection procedure.