Since March 20, 2020, Sonora Quest Laboratories has been receiving COVID-19 specimens and performing diagnostic testing for active infection locally at our main lab in Phoenix. Click here for test information.

Sonora Quest Laboratories Patient Service Centers, and in-office phlebotomists do not collect respiratory specimens, including those from patients suspected of having COVID-19.

Patients who believe they may have active COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to contact their healthcare provider or locate an Arizona Testing Blitz site for sample collection at https://www.azdhs.gov/testingblitz.

Diagnostic molecular tests are used to directly detect the presence of the virus, rather than the presence of the body’s immune response, or antibodies. By detecting viral Ribonucleic Acid or RNA, which will be present in the body before antibodies form, these molecular tests can tell whether someone has the virus very early on and whether they are infectious.

The Sonora Quest Laboratories test for COVID-19 is a qualitative, molecular test to detect RNA from SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19. This test has been authorized by the FDA under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for use by authorized laboratories.


 
FAQ

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is the name for the respiratory syndrome caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

What is the Sonora Quest Laboratories test for COVID-19?

Sonora Quest test code 907080 - SARS-CoV-2 RNA (COVID-19), Qualitative, NAAT, is a qualitative molecular assay, which amplifies the RNA of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in human specimens such as nasopharyngeal or throat swabs (upper respiratory). Alternative specimens, including bronchial lavage/wash, or sputum/tracheal aspirate are also acceptable.

What does a ‘detected’ diagnostic test result mean?

Detected results indicate presence of COVID-19 viral infection.

What does a ‘not detected’ diagnostic test result mean?

Not Detected results indicate no presence of COVID-19 viral infection.

What does an ‘inconclusive’ diagnostic test result mean?

An inconclusive result could indicate a sample with a viral concentration near the limit of detection of the test or other factors. An additional sample collection may be considered.

Does Sonora Quest offer serology / blood based antigen/antibody testing for COVID-19?

Sonora Quest Laboratories offers COVID-19 antibody testing. Click here for detailed information.

How can I order the Sonora Quest Laboratories test for COVID-19?

Physicians may order testing using test code 907080 - SARS-CoV-2 RNA (COVID-19), Qualitative, NAAT, through normal ordering processes. Any order for COVID-19 diagnostic testing must be submitted on a separate requisition and packaged separate from other tests.

What facilities can collect specimens?

Specimens are to be collected by hospitals, physician offices, and clinics. Sonora Quest Laboratories Patient Service Centers and Sonora Quest’s in-office phlebotomists do not collect respiratory specimens, including those from patients suspected of having COVID-19.

What type of specimen is collected?

Nasopharyngeal (NP) and/or oropharyngeal (OP) swabs are the preferred sample type. Lower respiratory specimen tests, including bronchial lavage/wash, or sputum/tracheal aspirate samples can also be submitted. One test for COVID-19 will be performed per requisition.

Can I put multiple specimen vials in one bag?

No. Each specimen vial must be transported in its own sealed bag.

What type of swab should be utilized to collect the upper respiratory sample?

The preferred sample is: One (1) healthcare professional-collected nasopharyngeal (NP) flocked or polyester-tipped swab in commercially-manufactured 2–3 mL Viral Transport Media (VTM) or equivalent Universal Transport Media (UTM).

Sonora Quest provides the following supplies which may be ordered through your normal process:

  • Nasopharyngeal (Small Swab) – Supply #20012
  • Throat (Large Swab) – Supply #20011

Alternative samples:

  • One (1) healthcare professional-collected, nasal or oropharyngeal (OP) in Aptima Multi-test Collection Kit.
  • One (1) healthcare professional-collected nasopharyngeal (NP) flocked or polyester-tipped swab in commercially-manufactured 2–3 mL multi-microbe media (M4, M4RT, M5, M6), phosphate buffered saline (PBS) 1X pH 7.4 (range 7.2 – 7.4),sterile saline (0.85% to 0.90%), or 1 mL Amies liquid elution swab (eSwab).
  • One (1) healthcare professional-collected oropharyngeal (OP) flocked or polyester-tipped swab in commercially-manufactured 2–3 mL Viral Transport Media (VTM) or equivalent Universal Transport Media (UTM), multi-microbe media (M4, M4RT, M5, M6), phosphate buffered saline (PBS) 1X pH 7.4 (range 7.2 – 7.4),sterile saline (0.85% to 0.90%), or 1 mL Amies liquid elution swab (eSwab).
  • One (1) healthcare professional-instructed or observed, patient self-collected (such as a drive-thru testing site), or healthcare professional-collected nasal flocked or polyester-tipped swab in commercially-manufactured 2–3 mL Viral Transport Media (VTM) or equivalent (UTM), cobas PCR Media Uni Swab Sample Kit, cobas PCR Media Dual Swab Sample Kit, cobas PCR Media Kit, sterile saline (0.85 - 0.90%) or Aptima Multi-test Collection Kit.
  • Lower respiratory specimen: 0.85 mL refrigerated bronchial lavage/wash, nasopharyngeal aspirate/wash, sputum, or tracheal aspirate in a plastic, sterile, leak-proof container.

NOTE: Due to the amount of Amies liquid elution, there is only enough to run specimen once and will not be enough to repeat specimen, if needed.


NOTE: Any container received without the following information: manufacturer, contents, lot number, and expiration date, will be rejected.


Nasopharyngeal collection instructions and other resources can be found here.

How do I order appropriate supplies for COVID-19 testing?

Supplies can be ordered through our SonoraQuest.com Provider Portal, Quanum, or by faxing a Client Supply Request Form to 602.685.5402 in Phoenix (central and northern AZ), or 520.296.5607 in Tucson (southern AZ).

Are there still shortages to do all these tests?

All labs are dealing with a global supply shortage of the sample collection kits needed for the testing. Sonora Quest is actively and continuously pursuing all options for supplies.

What is the specimen stability?

Specimens have a 48-hour ambient and refrigerated stability. Samples can also be frozen. If leaving specimens in a lock box, placing a frozen ice pack inside will ensure refrigerated specimens stay cool and viable for testing.

Are there any special storage or transport procedures for COVID-19 specimens?

Samples should be transported refrigerated (preferred) but can be submitted frozen. If leaving specimens in a lock box, placing a frozen ice pack inside will ensure refrigerated specimens stay cool and viable for testing. Specimens should be transported to Sonora Quest Laboratories according to standard operating procedures. Please note, this test is not available for STAT testing or STAT pick up.

What state are tests being sent to?

As of March 20, 2020, Sonora Quest performs this testing in-house at our main laboratory in Phoenix for all swab samples using test code 907080. Lower respiratory samples (0.85 mL refrigerated bronchial lavage/wash, nasopharyngeal aspirate/wash, sputum, or tracheal aspirate in a plastic, sterile, leak-proof container) are sent to Quest Diagnostics Infectious Disease laboratory in California.

What is expected turnaround time?

Our current result turnaround time is 7-8 days from the time of specimen receipt, but this may vary depending on demand. We are working to expand testing capacity as quickly as possible which will reduce result turnaround time.

How do I get my results?

Providers will receive a phone call if the test result is positive or inconclusive. Patients can access their results through the SonoraQuest.com Patient Results Portal or by emailing DTP-Arizona@SonoraQuest.com. 

How many samples has Sonora Quest Laboratories received for COVID-19 testing?

The number of samples changes each day. Please contact our media rep listed on this page for up-to-date numbers.

Will you be publicly reporting how many people you test?

Yes – we are reporting all results to the Arizona Department of Health Services, so our results are represented in the numbers they are distributing. The Arizona Department of Health Services is tracking statewide statistics and they can be contacted to provide that information as they are able to share. Additionally, we are sharing the total number of COVID-19 tests that we have performed, along with the average result turnaround time, and positivity rate with all major Arizona media outlets on a daily basis.

Have any of the positive coronavirus cases in Arizona been determined by Sonora Quest testing?

Yes – we are reporting all results to the Arizona Department of Health Services, so our results are represented in the numbers they are distributing. The Arizona Department of Health Services is tracking statewide statistics and they can be contacted to provide that information as they are able to share.