When testing is offered to children of any age, please ensure the tester is appropriately trained to perform the nasopharyngeal swab (NP) safely, and there are adequate supports available.
Collect a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab according to the procedure described in the Appendix A of the pediatric testing guidelines.
Use the swab/collection device provided by your institution. The following swabs are currently validated for use in nasopharyngeal specimen collection in infants and young children in B.C.:
- Copan™ minitip swab with 2mL red top tube
- BD™ minitip swab with 3ml red top tube
- Roche cobas™ PCR Dual Swab Sample Kit†
† These swabs have limited availability.
For children >6 years of age, Yocon virus sampling kit is generally appropriate.
Saline (salt water) gargle is an approved alternative to NP swab collection for outpatient, school-aged children and youth (grades K – 12) who are able to follow instructions on how to swish, gargle and spit a small amount of saline. Most children 5 years of age and older are able to provide a saline gargle sample with some guidance.
For school-aged children, collect a saline gargle sample according to the procedure described in Appendix B of the pediatric testing guidelines
Please ensure that the child has not eaten, had anything to drink, smoked, used a vape or chewed gum for one hour before sample collection.
Use the collection device and saline provided by your institution. The collection system is sterile and consists of a funnel attached to a 10mL collection tube with cap and 5mL of sterile saline.
For hospitalized patients and/or patients with evidence of lower respiratory tract disease, collect a lower respiratory tract sample (e.g., sputum, endotracheal aspirate, bronchoalveolar lavage, etc.) if feasible in a screw-top sterile container in addition to a nasopharyngeal swab.