How to collect a COVID-19 PCR Nasal Sample at home

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If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) you should isolate immediately and book for a PCR test from the comfort of your home.

What’s in a PCR test kit?

The EHA Clinics PCR Home test kits contain:

  • a swab
  • a vial containing a small amount of liquid – this must remain in the tube
  • a clear zip-lock bag with an absorbent pad
  • a bag with a QR code
  • Sticker with two identifiers

Precautions to Note

You’ll need to swab both your nostrils. If you’ve had a nosebleed in the last 24 hours, swab the other nostril or wait 24 hours from when the nosebleed stopped.

If you have a nose piercing, swab the other nostril. If you have a piercing on both sides, remove the piercing on the side you’re going to swab.

Step-by-step instructions on how to self collect a Nasal sample

1Read the instructions that come with your test kit.
2Before you begin, blow your nose.
3Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer.
4Place your test kit on a clean surface such as a table.
5Remove the swab from the packet from the stick end. Do not touch the fabric tip (soft part) of the swab or let it touch anything else.
6Use a mirror, It’s important that you don’t let the swab touch the outer part of your nose.
7Now put the swab up your nostril until you feel it can’t go any further. This is usually about 2.5cm (1 inch). Once inside, rotate the swab for 10 to 15 seconds inside your nose. It’s normal to find this a bit uncomfortable.
8Unscrew the cap off your sample tube and insert the swab fabric end first into the tube.
9Snap off the stick at the breakpoint. This helps to make sure no germs from your hands mix with your test.
10Screw the cap onto the tube tightly.
11Clean your hands again.
12Put the absorbent pad into the zip-lock bag then place the tube pad in the same bag. Seal the bag.
13Put the zip-lock bag into the biohazard bag. Make sure the barcode on the plastic tube matches the barcode on the biohazard bag. Seal the bag. Assemble the return box, following the instructions given.
14Put the biohazard bag into the box and close the box.