Dedicated to protecting the health and safety
of Nebraskans through diagnostic laboratory
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Testing Results
IMPORTANT! Pre-approval needed from state or local health department. Local or State Health Department. Send approval to or call (402) 559-9444.

NPHL has moved to an electronic ordering system, NUlirt, and it is now the preferred method to order all tests. Once ordered, print a "batch list" (see NUlirt Guide).

Forms Required - Nulirt batch list or NPHL Test Request Form (completed in entirety) must accompany the specimen to include the following information: symptoms and date of onset, pregnancy status, travel and vaccine history. Testing will not be performed without all required information.


  Test: CoVID-19 and Influenza Multiplex RT-PCR Assay
Order in NUlirt or complete NPHL Test Order Form  
  Synonym: Specific detection of 2019-nCoV, SARS-CoV2, novel coronavirus, and influenza A, flu A, influenza B, flu B  
  Method: Qualitative nucleic acid amplified real time PCR (RT-PCR) assay  
  Availability: Test performed Monday – Friday; Turn-around-time 24-48hr  
  Specimen: Nasopharyngeal swab, Nasal Swab  
  Collection Device: Viral Transport Media  (VTM, UTM, VCM or M4), Saline
Specimens should be collected only on mini-tipped swabs with a synthetic tip (such as polyester or Dacron®) with aluminum or plastic shafts. Do not use calcium alginate swabs or swabs with wooden shafts, as they may contain substances that inactivate some viruses and inhibit PCR testing. Sealed with Parafilm™ or tape.

Specimen Labeling: Test subject to CLIA regulations and required 2 patient identifiers on specimen container and requisition forms.  
  Volume: 1-3 mL viral transport media  
  Storage/Transport: Prior to and during shipment: Refrigerate 2-8°C for up to 72h after collection. Ship as soon as possible.
Shipping instructions, including specimen-handling requirements during transport:
All screw-top tubes must be sealed with Parafilm™ or tape.   Ship in Category B box. Place packing list or other paperwork on top of Styrofoam and lid. Mark out rigid box as UN3373 Category B, Biological Substance. Transport by NPHL ground courier. If courier not available, ship by FedEx, UPS or USPS (1st Class, Priority or Express Mail). Follow appropriate DOT/IATA Regulation Guidelines.  For assistance, call NPHL State Training Coordinator at (402) 559-3590.  
See instructions and shipping address:

NUlirt packing list or appropriate paperwork (completed in entirety) must accompany specimens.    
  Unacceptable: • Specimens not kept at 2-8°C (≤3 days) or frozen at -20°C or below.
• Inappropriate specimen type.
• Insufficient specimen volume.
• Swabs submitted with calcium alginate or cotton tips with wooden shafts are not acceptable.  
  Specimen Stability: Stable at Refrigerated 2-8°C < 72hr; Frozen -20°C  >72h, stable frozen for 30 days.  
  Reference Interval: Negative for SARS-CoV 2, Influenza A virus, Influenza B virus  
  Reportable Disease: Presumptive positive results are reported to local or state health department. Refer to Nebraska DHHS Title 173, Communicable Diseases.  
  Comments: NUlirt packing list or NPHL Test Order Form (completed in entirety) must accompany the specimen.  
  Revised: 3/25/2021 


If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (866) 290-1406.