Senior Living Facilities


COVID-19 At-Home Collection Tips

With COVID-19 testing, how the sample is collected is important to:

– Ensure the integrity and validity of the sample for an accurate result.

– Maintain the safety of all who may come in contact with it.

Complete these steps to make sure your or your child’s saliva sample provides an accurate and valid result.


Guardian Preparation

Only required when collecting saliva sample from a minor (under age 18)

Complete Quick Online Training & Quiz
The emergency use authorization (EUA) granted for this test requires a quick training be completed when the sample is being collected from a child. In this short training, you will learn the proper collection procedures to ensure a valid saliva sample.

To ensure understanding of instructions, there is a short, 10-question quiz.

Determine Collection and Ship Date
If your child is collecting for a specific event such as attending camp. You will receive SMS/emails with specific collection/ship dates. These dates have been chosen to fit the timeline for a negative result determined by the organization. Samples should be collected and shipped on the same day.

Please watch for these SMS/emails. Add the email address to your contacts to prevent email from going into your junk folder.

Identify a FedEx Drop Box
Locate a FedEx designated drop box for lab returns near you with the link below. Be sure to check the pick-up schedule, so the specimen is dropped off before final pick up. Do not deliver the sample on a weekend. It will not be picked up and the sample will be invalid.

kids at camp


Prepare to Collect Sample

These steps and tips for saliva collection will help ensure a valid specimen is collected for an accurate result

  • The tube is sterile and should only be opened to collect the saliva.
  • Samples should be clear to white in color.
  • Coughing or sniffing before or during sample collection should be avoided.
  • ‘Dribbling’ or ‘drooling’ into the collection tube is the desired mechanism for collection.
  • Saliva should be gently expelled from the mouth into the collection tube.
  • Avoid forceful ‘spitting.’
  • If anything other than saliva is collected (ex: mucus, food particles, toothpaste), the sample will be invalid.

Important Notes on Saliva Collection

PCR COVID-19 test kit


After Collection

You will be notified via email/SMS when results are ready. Results are typically available within 24 hours of the sample being received by the lab.

Prepare Sample for Shipping
Be sure tube is closed securely and labeled.

Prepare Kit for Shipping
Tear off tracking information before attaching enclosed shipping label to the box.

Deliver to a FedEx Drop Box
Ship same day as collection before final the pick-up time.

woman holding box


Frequently Asked Questions

Does SalivaDirect have 'Emergency Use Authorization' (EUA)?

This test has not been FDA cleared or approved; This test has been authorized by FDA under an EUA for use by authorized laboratories.

This test has been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens.

This test is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.

Is this test accurate?

This test is highly accurate with a clinical specificity of 100% and sensitivity of 94%.

Is the saliva sample ok without ice/refrigeration in transit?

Yes. The sample is stable without ice/refrigeration.

What if the sample is exposed to extreme temperatures during transit?

The sample is stable at a wide temperature range for periods of time. Since samples ship overnight, the time frame of potential exposure to extreme temperatures will not be exceeded.

How long is the sample stable in transit?

The sample is stable for days at a wide temperature range.

What is the average amount of time the sample should be in transit using the FedEx Express return label included in the kit?

An overnight return label ensures the sample remains stable and results are quick.

If I collect the sample on a weekend, can I ship it on Monday? If yes, how should the sample be stored before shipment?

Samples should be collected during the week and shipped the same day. However, if that is not possible, the sample may be kept at room temperature during the weekend and shipped Monday.

What about if collecting/shipping on a federal holiday?

Samples should not be collected on holidays. However, if time requires collection on a holiday, store the samples at room temperature and ship as soon as possible.