Geisinger Medical Laboratories Test Catalog

Order Display Name: Geisinger Epic Procedure Code Or ID CPT Code:  


Geisinger Epic Procedure Code: LAB3951             Geisinger Epic ID: 151550

Specimen type:
Nasopharyngeal, nasal turbinate
Preferred collection container:
Specimen required:
Swab in 1.0 mL in UTM.
Special notes:
Samples should be put in an inactivation vial prior to sending to GMC for testing.

This test is restricted to Geisinger inpatients.

Specimen processing instructions:
The inactivation step must be performed under safety hood. The clinical sample and inactivation buffer vial must come to room temperature BEFORE use.

Add 1 mL of the specimen eluted in UTM/VTM into the tube containing the Sample Inactivation Buffer; vortex for 5-10 seconds. Then let sit for 2 hours at room temperature. 
Transport temperature:
Refrigerated at 2-8°C.
Specimen stability:
UTM: 3 hours at room temperature; 12 hours at 2-8°C after collection.
Inactivated sample: 2-8°C for 5 days; -20°C for 1 month.
Rejection criteria:
Specimens that exceed stability limits. Specimens stored or transported at incorrect temperature. Swab specimens not transported in medium. Incorrect swabs.

Interpretation guide:
If Detected: Indicates the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen and COVID-19 infection. Please isolate per guidelines and seek medical treatment as appropriate. Results should be interpreted with the clinical presentation and exposure history. Results reported to PADOH.

If Not Detected: SARS-CoV-2 antigen was not detected. A negative test does not rule out COVID-19 infection. If you have had exposure to someone with known or possible COVID-19, please continue to quarantine from others despite negative test. Please continue to mask and consider re-testing by PCR if symptoms develop.
Additional information:
False negatives may occur due to improper collection.
CPT code(s):
Note: The billing party has sole responsibility for CPT coding.  Any questions regarding coding should be directed to the payer being billed.  The CPT codes provided by GML are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only.
Test includes:
Chemiluminescence immunoassay for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen (nucleocapsid protein).
Chemiluminescence Immunoassay
Covid Ag, Covid antigen, COVAG
Clinical significance:
The incubation period for COVID-19 is from 2-14 days following exposure. The nucleocapsid protein antigen is generally detectable in upper respiratory specimens during the acute phase of infection. Antigen testing is less sensitive than PCR testing for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection. False negatives may occur. Antigen test may be used to determine clearance of virus post infection.
Doctoral Director(s:)
Hoi-Ying Elsie Yu, PhD, DABCC, FADLM
Sheng-Ying (Margaret) Lo, PhD, DABCC    
Review Date: 01/26/2023

Performing Locations

Geisinger Medical Center

Performing laboratory: Immunology
Technical Lead: Kathy Hurst
Frequency: Monday-Friday, 1st shift
Performed STAT? No
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