COVID-19 - guidance for sampling and laboratory investigations

Publication Date: 03 May 2020

Guidance​​

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Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. Clinical presentation may range from mild-to-moderate illness to pneumonia or severe acute respiratory infection. Because of this, patients with COVID-19 could present to primary care either via telephone or in person.

It has been announced by the UK/Scottish Government that as of 16 March anyone developing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, however mild, should stay at home for 7 days from the onset of symptoms as per existing advice. In addition, it is now recommended that anyone living in the same household as a symptomatic person should self-isolate for 14 days.

Information on COVID-19, including stay at home advice for people who are self-isolating and their households, can be found on NHS Inform

Further, people are advised to take social distancing measures to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. In particular, this is strongly advised for people aged 70 or over, people with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women. Further advice on these measures will be available on NHS Inform.

Please note that this is an evolving situation and the most up to date guidance should always be checked on our COVID-19 page .

Workforce education information and resources

​Packaging samples​

This is a guidance video which outlines the correct way to package samples from suspected COVID-19 patients for Category B transport, in line with UN3373 requirements.

Obtaining an upper respiratory tract diagnostic sample

HPS, with support from stakeholders, has produced a short video clip to support colleagues required to obtain an upper respiratory tract diagnostic sample.

This resource describes the techniques involved in obtaining an upper respiratory tract COVID-19 diagnostic sample and covers the:

  • options available in relation to COVID-19-Upper respiratory tract samples
  • technique involved in obtaining a nose swab
  • technique involved in obtaining a throat swab
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Resource information

Publisher:
Public Health Scotland
Publication type:
Guideline and Guidance