Skip to Content

Department of Health Services

Public Health Regional Laboratory





CPT Code


Acceptable Specimens

Dacron-tipped buccal swab

Collect specimen within 3 days and no longer than 10 days after symptom onset.

To obtain a buccal swab, massage the parotid gland area (the space between the cheek and teeth inside the mouth just below the ear) on each side of the face for about 30 seconds prior to collection of the buccal secretions.

Use a Dacron-tipped swab and rub the inside of each cheek with the same swab for about 10 seconds.

Sweep the swab between the upper and lower molar areas on each side of the mouth.

Ensure that the swab is moist with saliva when finishing swabbing and place swab in a tube containing 2-3 mls of viral transport media.

Specimen Storage

Store specimens at 4ºC.

Specimen Transport

Transport specimen to the laboratory on cold packs as soon as possible.

Setup Days

Testing is performed on an as-needed basis.


Results will be available 1-2 days after receiving the specimen.

Lab Slip

Monster Form (PDF: 108 Kb)