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How to Collect a Nasal Swab Sample

To expedite COVID-19 testing and make the process less invasive for certain patients, some students, faculty and staff will collect their own sample.

Administering a COVID-19 Self Swab Test

Let's go through the step-by-step process for self-collection of your COVID-19 test.

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Sample Collection Steps

One

Check in and sanitize hands

Walk toward the registration table. Check in and use the provided hand sanitizer.

Two

Collect registration packet

Move to the side of the table to receive your registration packet.

Three

Enter testing area when signaled

Wait to be signaled to the testing area. Then move toward the end of the table in the testing area.

Four

Verify your information

Verify your name and date of birth are correct on the sheet inside the registration packet.

Five

Prepare registration packet

Place the contents of the registration packet on the table in front of you. Your registration packet will contain one swab packet, one collection tube and a test result card.

Six

Pick up swab packet

Leave the test result card and collection tube on the table and pick up the swab packet.

Seven

Open swab packet

Open the swab packet from the end with the notch marked "Peel Here." Be careful not to touch the tip of the swab.

Eight

Insert swab

Lower your mask. Insert the tip of the swab approximately one inch into one of your nostrils.

Nine

Collect sample

Rotate and twirl the swab into your nose for 10-15 seconds. Then do the same with the other nostril.

Ten

Put swab in collection tube

While holding the swab, be careful not to touch the tip. Pick up the collection tube and unscrew the top. Be careful not to spill the liquid in the tube. Insert the swab into the tube.

Eleven

Secure swab and snap off swab at notch

Note the notch (break line) on the collection swab. Bring the notch to the top of the tube, secure the swab in the tube then snap off the swab at the notch.

Twelve

Close tube

Firmly screw on the top of the collection tube. Be careful not to spill any of the liquid inside.

Thirteen

Place tube in bag

Place the collection tube inside the bag. Then seal the bag.

Fourteen

Take result card and deposit sample

Take your test result card from the table. Then deposit your test bag into the red container. Secure your test result card and use the provided hand sanitizer.

Fifteen

Exit testing area

Follow the exit signs to leave the testing area.

Sixteen

View results online

Keep your test result card safe and follow the instructions to view your results online.

Stop the Spread

Personal accountability is the key to our safe return to campus. Do your part to keep everyone safe.

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Ask a Question

We’ll be adding information on different topics throughout the fall, so check this site frequently for updates. If you can’t find the info you need, submit a question or email returntocampus@mail.wvu.edu.

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