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How to prepare for a COVID-19 nasopharyngeal test? And, in particular, for dependent people (children, the elderly, the disabled)?

Text updated on 2020-11-08

There are two issues associated with nasopharyngeal testing: not getting infected and not infecting others when testing. In addition, if you have to bring a dependent person (child, elderly, or disabled person), explain the test procedure to them and reassure them so that the test is carried out in the best possible way.

If the nasopharyngeal swab is taken outdoors or from a car, the risk of contamination is practically nil. However, if your test is performed in a laboratory or tent, the proximity to other people carries a risk of contamination. People who come for testing have a higher risk of being infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus than the general population. You must remain vigilant and follow the proper steps.

Before you go

with an addict:

for you:

At the test site

During the test Just before the test, take deep breaths to help you stay calm.

With a child:

Take deep breaths at the same time to help you and your child stay calm. You can stay with your child during the test. Encourage your child to hold something that comforts him or her.

There, done! Now we just have to wait for the results!

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General Guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States for the collection, handling and testing of clinical specimens from individuals for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens for COVID-19. Accessed Nov 7 2020.

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 disappears after seven days on plastic and after about a day on fabric.

Chin, A. W., Chu, J. T., Perera, M. R., Hui, K. P., Yen, H. L., Chan, M. C., ... & Poon, L. L. (2020). Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions. The Lancet Microbe, 1(1), e10.

Further reading

What is the baseline test to find out if I am infected with SARS-CoV-2?

What should I do if I find out that I recently have been in contact with someone who has just tested positive?

How many days after contact should I wait for a COVID test?

What approaches could accelerate large-scale screening?

Can my child transmit COVID-19 ?

How do you live with a vulnerable person?