Collection and Processing of Laboratory Samples From Patients with Suspected COVID-19 Infection
All samples collected for laboratory testing should be considered potentially infectious. Medical personnel who collect, handle, or transport any clinical samples should strictly adhere to the following standard precautions and biosafety practices to minimize the potential for exposure to pathogens.
Ensuring that appropriate personal protective equipment (such as protective goggles, medical masks, long-sleeved protectivegowns, gloves) is used by medical personnel collecting samples. If aerosols are generated during sample collection, collectors should wear special masks that meet at least NIOSH-certified N95 and EU-certified FFP2 standards, or an equivalent level of protection.
Ensure that all personnel transporting samples are trained in safe handling procedures and spill handling.
Transported samples should be placed in a leak-proof sample bag (i.e., secondary container), which is a separate pocket that seals the sample (i.e., biohazard sample bags); when transported, the sample bag should be placed in a sample container labeled with patient information (i.e., primary container), accompanied by a clearly written laboratory inspection request form.
Depending on the type of biological sample being handled, the healthcare facility's laboratory must comply with the appropriate biosafety practices and transport requirements;
All samples should be delivered manually; the use of pneumatic piping systems to transport samples is prohibited;
Each patient's full name, date of birth, and a reminder of suspected COVID-19 infection must be clearly documented on the laboratory test request form. Notify the laboratory as soon as samples are delivered.