Obtaining a sample for the Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 in Scotland.
Thank you for agreeing to take part in the Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 in Scotland programme.
This will help us understand how coronavirus is spreading in our communities.
This short video clip shows you:
How to take a sample by a combined throat and nose swab.
What to do when you have taken the sample.
We recommend that you watch this video through to the end before using the swab to take your sample.
Step 1: You will have been sent a swabbing kit. The swabbing kit consists of a box containing:a swab
in a packet (long stick with a 'cotton bud' at the end).
A small bottle with a pink liquid in it.
Instruction leaflet of how to take the swab.
Sample submission form.
A letter explaining about the programme, what is being asked, how to complete the sample
submission form and how to return swab.
A tube with a white liner to put the sample bottle in when complete.
And a large bag to put box in when complete.
Please ensure you have all the parts of the kit listed above and have read the letter
and instructions before starting to take the swab.
To monitor for Coronavirus we need you to take a combined throat and nose swab.
For this, you will use the cotton-bud like swab to swab the back of your throat and then immediately your nose.
Perform this somewhere where you won't be disturbed and can take your time.
Somewhere you have a mirror and can wash your hands is best.
If you prefer to sit down, then please do so.
If you need your glasses to see yourself in the mirror properly or read instructions please
make sure you have them with you.
Please ensure that the swabbing kit is out of the reach of children.
Step 2: Remember, ensure you follow the instructions you have been sent.
Do not eat immediately before taking the swab.
Firstly blow your nose.
Before you begin swabbing you must wash your hands thoroughly and dry your hands.
Step 3: Open the outer packaging and remove the small bottle containing the pink liquid.
and place on a clean stable surface.
Unscrew the bottle top and place on the surface.
The container comes with a small amount ofliquid in it.
Do NOT pour this liquid out - this liquid is what the laboratory will use to detect the virus.
Do NOT touch the liquid or get it on your skin. If you do, please wash your skin immediately with lots of water.
Remove the swab from its individual pack.
Do not touch the end that looks like a cotton bud.
Step 4: Taking a throat swab.
Position yourself in front of a mirror if possible so you can see where you are placing the swab.
Open your mouth wide so you can see the back of your throat and tonsils if you have them.
Move the swab into your mouth but be careful not to touch your tongue.
Ensure that you are placing the swab right at the back of your throat. This may be uncomfortable.
Rub the swab along the back of your throat and tonsils for about 10 seconds.
Remove the swab, do not put it down yet.
Step 5: Obtaining a nose swab.
Now with the same swab, you need to take a swab of the back of your nose.
This can be tricky as the nose goes backwards and not upwards.
Tilt your head back slightly and using the same swab very gently insert the end that
looks like a cotton bud into one of your nostrils.
Gently slide the swab backwards so that it is going along the floor of the nose to the back.
When doing this, your hand should be out in front of you.
Stop when any resistance is felt and it stops sliding in easily. This may feel uncomfortable.
Do not force the swab at any point.
When it is in position rotate the swab gently against the back of your nose for 10-15 seconds.
Remove the swab, do not put it down yet.
Step 6: With the swab in your hand, dip the end that looks like a cotton bud into the
bottle with the pink liquid.
Swirl this in the liquid for 15 seconds.
As you take the swab out of the container, press the cotton bud end against the side
of the bottle to squeeze out any remaining liquid.
Remove the swab.
Remember the bottle with the pink liquid is what will be sent to the laboratory and now contains your sample.
Replace the bottle lid and ensure it is screwed on tightly.
Put the used swab in a bin bag and tie the bag.
Please note: Waste should be stored safely for 72 hours before being placed in your outside or wheelie bin.
Please place the sample tube in the transport tube with white liner and close firmly.
Step 7: Wash and dry your hands.
Package the sample as described in the letter you have received.
Thank you for your help.