For Outbreak Investigations:
Please email VRDL.email@example.com
prior to sending any specimens. VRDL will accept up to 10 specimens per outbreak.
For Routine Surveillance: VRDL will accept up to 25 specimens every two weeks.
Pre-approval is required for submissions that exceed these specimen limits above.
|Supplemental Information Required
- Sample must be positive for SARS-CoV-2
- Specimens must have a Ct value of ≤30 or an RLU value of ≥1100
- Ct values or RLU values should be indicated on the submittal form when available
- Outbreak location should be indicated on the submittal form if applicable
Whole Genome Sequencing (LDT) (Surveillance use only)
|Acceptable Specimen Type(s) and Collection Method
- Upper Respiratory specimens :
- A single nasopharyngeal (NP) swab is preferred.
- Acceptable alternatives include:
- A nasal mid-turbinate swab
- An anterior nares swab
- An oropharyngeal (OP) swab
- SARS-CoV-2 positive nucleic acid extracts with original specimen if possible
Swabs must have a Dacron or synthetic tip with aluminum or plastic shaft (same type as the ones used for influenza testing).
If two sites are swabbed (e.g. nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal combination swabs), place both swabs in the same sterile collection tube of Universal or Viral Transport Medium or sterile saline.
VRDL can accept swabs from some COVID-19 rapid antigen kits for whole genome sequencing; please contact VRDL.firstname.lastname@example.org
for guidance and pre-approval if you are if planning to submit this type of specimen.
Other specimen types, including lower respiratory tract specimens may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact VRDL.email@example.com
for more information.
|Minimum Volume Required
- Respiratory swabs: 2-3 ml of Universal or Viral Transport Medium or sterile saline.
- Nucleic acid extracts: 25 µL-40 µL
|Transport Medium (if using)
|Universal or Viral Transport Medium preferred. Molecular Transport Medium also acceptable: please indicated media on submittal form.
|Each specimen tube must be labeled with at least two unique patient identifiers; e.g., patient full name and date of birth.
|Storage & Preservation of Specimen / Shipping Conditions
Swabs and extracts: freeze or refrigerate specimens promptly after collection. Freezing is strongly recommended.
Ship refrigerated specimens to VRDL on cold packs. Ship frozen specimens to VRDL on dry ice.
Work with your local public health department to ensure samples are packaged according to instructions for Biological Substance – Category B (UN 3373) shipment.
Ship specimens and a hard copy of the completed submittal forms to:
ATTN: Specimen Receiving 850 Marina Bay Parkway
RIchmond, CA 94804
30 business days for in-house sequencing
90 business days for outsourced sequencing
|Interferences & Limitations
This service is provided for public health investigational needs only. This is not a validated, diagnostic test, and results shall not be used for clinical management. Results will only be conveyed to local public health officials.
Samples with low viral load (real-time PCR Cycle Threshold >30) or that have been improperly stored or subjected to conditions that negatively impact nucleic acid integrity may not provide interpretable results.
Results may not confirm or predict anti-viral resistance.
|VRDL Points of Contact
|Medical and Epidemiology Liaisons: (510) 307-8585 or VRDL.Submittal@cdph.ca.gov