Beyond Q-tips: The swabbing guide for SARS-CoV-2


Video length: 46 minutes



Linde Gove
Assistant Supervisor, Hilton Lab Services
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Paul Jannetto, Ph.D.
Lab Director/Vice Chair, DLMP Supply Chain Management
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the advantages of flocked swabs over traditional fiber (e.g., rayon) swabs.
  • List three acceptable swab types that can be used for SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing.
  • Recall which anatomical site the Mayo Clinic 3D-printed swab is designed to sample and identify potential advantages of this swab type.
  • Describe the proper collection technique for nasopharyngeal, mid-turbinate, and terminal nares collection for SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing.

Intended audience

This series is appropriate for phlebotomists, phlebotomy managers, phlebotomy educators, and other patient-care staff involved in specimen collection.

Faculty disclosure

Course director(s), planning committee, faculty, and all others who are in a position to control the content of this educational activity are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest related to the subject matter of the educational activity. Safeguards against commercial bias have been put in place. Faculty members also will disclose any off-label and/or investigational use of pharmaceuticals or instruments discussed in their presentations. Disclosure of this information will be published in course materials so those participants in the activity may formulate their own judgments regarding the presentations.


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This post was developed by our Education and Technical Publications Team.