Performing Nasopharyngeal Swabs



1 flock swab in viral transport media (i.e. Hank’s® Media)


  1. The individual collecting the swab should wear a face mask, gown, gloves and face shield (N95 not required, but highly encouraged).
  2. The distance from the patients nose to ear gives an estimate of the distance the swab should be inserted
  3. Tilt patient’s head back 70 degrees.
  4. Insert one swab straight back into one nostril (swab should reach depth equal to distance from nostrils to outer opening of ear).
  5. Leave in place for a few seconds.
  6. Repeat on the other nostril using the same swab on both nostrils.
  7. Immediately place the swab into a vial containing viral transport media (i.e. Hank’s® Media) and break off remaining shaft to close.
  8. Send the swab to the laboratory (tube station 91).