- Be aware the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved anterior nasal swab specimen collection for COVID-19 testing. Anterior nasal swabbing is more comfortable for patients and allows for self-collection. More information below.
- Consider talking with your high-risk patients about the types of life-sustaining treatments they want in case of serious COVID-19 infection. More information about Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) at POLST FAQs.
- Use this tool to learn how to conserve personal protective equipment ( PPE) and what to use when PPE supplies are low.
- Become familiar with Washington State Department of Health’s PPE prioritization system, and read the instructions for requesting COVID-19 resources on our COVID-19 page.
- Encourage patients to comply with Gov. Inslee’s extended Stay Home, Stay Healthy order through May 4.
On March 23, the FDA issued a COVID-19 specimen collection update to include nasal swabs that access just the front of the nose rather than the depth of the nasal cavity.
On April 16, the FDA issued a further update allowing the use of spun synthetic swabs (like Q-Tips) to collect samples from the front of the nose.
The allowance is based on collaborative clinical investigation results from FDA, UnitedHealth Group, Gates Foundation and Quantigen. The anterior nares testing used in the study:
- Allows for patient self-collection, limiting healthcare provider exposure.
- Is more comfortable for patients.
- Can be performed with a swab easier to manufacture at scale.
For more information, see the FDA news release.
Anterior nares specimen collection swabs may not be widely available. Contact your supplier and lab for COVID-19 nasal testing capability.
Share these materials with patients.
- What to do if you have COVID-19.
- What to do if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and haven’t been exposed or tested.