Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Healthcare Provider Information

What You Need to Know About Testing for COVID-19

Physicians and other healthcare providers anywhere in the U.S. can order LabCorp’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. The testing detects the presence of the underlying virus that causes COVID-19 and is for use with patients who meet current guidance for evaluation of infection with COVID-19. Note: LabCorp does not collect specimens for COVID-19 testing. Patients for whom testing has been ordered should not be sent to a LabCorp location to have a specimen collected.

For customers of LabCorp's Drug Development business, Covance, please visit www.covance.com.

FAQs

  • Who can order COVID-19 tests?

    Physicians and other healthcare providers anywhere in the United States can order COVID-19 testing (Test Code 139900) from LabCorp. The test detects the presence of the underlying virus that causes COVID-19 and is for use with patients who meet current guidance for evaluation of infection with COVID-19. 

  • What types of specimens are required for the testing?

    COVID-19 testing requires specimens collected from the nose, throat or lungs, which must be collected by a healthcare provider. The preferred sample types are nasopharyngeal (NP) or oropharyngeal (OP) swabs. Other appropriate sample types are NP or OP aspirates or washes, and bronchoalveloar lavage (BAL). More detailed information is available in our 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing Q&A, as well as on the test menu.

  • Does LabCorp collect specimens for COVID-19 testing?

    No. Patients for whom testing has been ordered should not be sent to a LabCorp patient service center to have a specimen collected. Instead, an appropriate specimen should be collected at the health care facility where the patient was seen and the test was ordered. The specimen can then be sent to LabCorp using standard procedures.

  • What is LabCorp’s testing capacity?

    LabCorp is able to perform more than 20,000 COVID-19 tests per day. We have been working closely with the government and others to increase test capacity and respond to this public health crisis.

    LabCorp is also preparing to help hospitals for whom it provides technical support services to perform on-site serological and molecular tests for COVID-19, including the Cepheid® Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 molecular test and the BioFire® COVID-19 Test, once available. LabCorp remains in close contact with manufacturers that are developing additional test options, and will work with healthcare providers to help them prepare to use these tests when they become available.

    Xpert® and Cepheid® are registered trademarks of Cepheid.

    BioFire® is a registered trademark of BioFire Technologies Inc.

  • What is the test methodology for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing?

    The COVID-19 tests performed by LabCorp are qualitative assays using PCR technology, which LabCorp played a central role in commercializing when PCR was introduced nearly 30 years ago. 

  • How long will it take for LabCorp to report results?

    It takes approximately 4-5 days from the date of pickup of a specimen for testing to the release of the test result to the healthcare provider. Test results are most typically reported electronically, which generally allows for faster delivery. This timeframe can vary based on demand, the length of time to transport the specimen to LabCorp’s test facilities, and the prioritization of patients (as defined by healthcare authorities and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, HHS and other health authorities). LabCorp is working continuously to support the needs of healthcare workers, patients, government, clients and other organizations, and expects capacity to continue to increase.

  • How will ordering physicians be notified of positive results?

    Positive results are treated as a critical result and called to the ordering physician or health care provider. Indeterminate results and negative results will not be called.

  • Will COVID-19 results be reported to local and state public health entities?

    LabCorp is reporting COVID-19 results to the appropriate public health agency in accordance with applicable requirements; however, healthcare providers may also be required to report positive patients to the appropriate public health agency. 

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