Guidance for long term care facilities sending samples for COVID-19 screening

For facilities sending COVID-19 PCR samples to UW Laboratory Medicine and Pathology in compliance with CMS requirements for long term care facility screening or Washington Department of Health order 20-02, please consider the following information prior to sending samples.

Account Creation

To ensure rapid turnaround time and receive results via your desired route, please contact UW Laboratory Medicine’s Client Support Services at (206) 520-4600 to create an account prior to sending samples. This will decrease confusion when we receive samples and minimize phone calls for clarification. Without an account we will not have a mechanism to report results back to you.

Results will be distributed back to the ordering facility via automated fax or client portal. The route of result distribution must be configured by the facility prior to performing testing. This is captured in the client intake process.


Please use one of the following requisiton formats:

  1. UW Laboratory Medicine and Pathology offers electronic ordering and result retrieval through our Atlas web portal. Electronic orders are the most efficient process not only for receiving orders in the laboratory, but also for locations ordering repeat screening tests on residents and staff. The individual's demographic information can be entered once, after which the ordering of additional tests is streamlined. Use of electronic orders also minimizes the effort required for all parties to communicate important information such as address and phone number to the state and local health jurisdictions. If you are interested in submitting electronic orders, please contact our client services group at
  2. The UW COVID-19 requisition is a fillable pdf and can be downloaded and completed electronically. If you will hand write information, please use the UW requisition rather than the WA DOH requisition.
  3. If you have set up a client account with the WA DOH Public Health Laboratories and are able to type information into the requisition for each individual being tested, the WA State Lab requisition format is a helpful alternative. The printed requisition includes a 2D barcode to facilitate data entry and decrease errors. See

Specimen Labeling, Collection, and Handling

  • Include at least two identifiers on the label (e.g. full name in last name, first name format plus date of birth) that exactly match the information on the requisition.
  • Information must match exactly regardless of the source of the label (electronic printed label or hand-written) to prevent delays in performing testing.
  • Acceptable identifiers include:
    • full name
    • medical record number/patient ID
    • date of birth
    • specimen ID
    • social security number.
  • Please include only one sample and one requisition per bag.
  • If you are not using state-supplied packaging to ship samples, please ship samples to: 1616 Eastlake Avenue E, Suite 255, Seattle, WA, 98102

Laboratory Contact Information

Please direct all questions to the Department of Laboratory Medicine Client Support Services:

Phone: (206) 520-4600 or 1 (800) 713-5198

Additional Information from WA Department of Health

CMS Memo on Long Term Care Facility Testing Guidelines

FAQ: COVID-19 Testing of Residents and Staff of Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities with Memory Care Units

Associated Tests

Code Name Specimen
NCVQLT SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Qualitative PCR nasopharyngeal (NP) or oropharyngeal (OP...

Last updated 2020-09-27T19:19:15.295577+00:00