As Arizona's leader in diagnostic information services, Sonora Quest is committed to fast action on emerging health threats for which laboratory testing can provide critical insights aiding response. Please be sure to check this website regularly for any COVID-19 related updates.

Sonora Quest Laboratories is now able to receive COVID-19 specimens and perform testing locally at our main lab in Tempe. Click here for test information.

This new test requires respiratory specimens be collected in appropriate healthcare settings, such as hospitals and physician offices.

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

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.

Sonora Quest Laboratories is monitoring the situation closely, and is committed to helping you provide the best care for your patients. Our priority is the health and safety of our employees, patients, and the communities we serve.

Collection Instruction Resources

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, QL, RT PCR (COVID-19) – Swabs 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  using test code 907078 - SARS-CoV-2 RNA, QL REAL-TIME RT-PCR (COVID-19) – Non-Swabs.

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

Physicians may order testing on swabs (Nasopharyngeal or Oropharyngeal) using test code 907080 through normal ordering processes. For testing on sputum or aspirates/washes, physicians may order test code 907078. Any order for COVID-19 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?

Currently, nasopharyngeal (NP) and/or oropharyngeal (OP) swab testing is being performed using test code 907080. Lower respiratory specimen tests, including bronchial lavage/wash, or sputum/tracheal aspirate samples can also be submitted using test code 907078 and will be frozen upon receipt. 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?

Preferred samples for test 907080 are upper respiratory specimens: refrigerated nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab in ViroPak Viral Transport Media. Other acceptable Viral Transport Media accepted include UTM, UVT, liquid Amies (eSwab), or equivalent. Sonora Quest provides the following supplies which may be ordered through your normal process:

  • Nasopharyngeal (Small Swab) – Supply #20012
  • Throat (Large Swab) – Supply #20011
  • eSwab - Blue-Cap Mini-Tip Culture Swab (Nasopharyngeal) – Supply #25785
  • eSwab - White-Cap Routine Culture Swab (Throat) – Supply #25784

Lower respiratory specimens can be submitted for test 907078: 0.85 mL refrigerated bronchial lavage/wash, nasopharyngeal aspirate/wash, sputum, or tracheal aspirate in a plastic, sterile, leak-proof container.

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 referigerated (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. SARS-CoV-2 RNA, Qualitative Real-Time RT-PCR test is not a STAT test and STAT pick-up cannot be ordered.

 



What state are tests being sent to?

As of March 20, 2020, Sonora Quest performs this testing in-house at our main laboratory in Tempe for all swab samples using test code 907080.

Testing is also available on lower respiratory samples (0.85 mL refrigerated bronchial lavage/wash, nasopharyngeal aspirate/wash, sputum, or tracheal aspirate in a plastic, sterile, leak-proof container) using test code 907078 which is sent to Quest Diagnostics Infectious Disease laboratory in California.

What is expected turnaround time?

2-4 days from the time of specimen pickup, but this may vary depending on demand.

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.

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.

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.

Will you be publicly reporting how many people you test?

We can provide this information upon request. This information changes daily.