Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing: What you should know
Updated June 24, 2021
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) tests are conducted in commercial, private and academic labs, as well as state and county health labs. UC Davis Health has greatly expanded our on-site testing capabilities, having developed and validated our own accurate COVID-19 test. We are doing this in full collaboration with Sacramento County Public Health and other public health agencies in order to take the pressure off other testing labs. Between March 2020, which is when we began testing, and November 2020, we performed more than 10,000 molecular tests. That number has continued to grow.
Testing for COVID-19 involves inserting a 6-inch long swab (like a long Q-tip) into the cavity between the nose and mouth (nasopharyngeal swab) for 15 seconds and rotating it several times. The swabbing is then repeated on the other side of the nose to make sure enough material is collected. The swab is then inserted into a container and sent to a lab for testing.
NOTE: This demonstration video shows how novel coronavirus testing is done. Proper sample collection involves swabbing BOTH nostrils.