COVID-19 Saliva Collection Kit - Saliva (Mouth Rinse/Swish & Gargle) with Straw

How to Use the Saliva Mouth Rinse Method for a COVID 19 PCR Test

This step-by-step guide shows you how to use a saline mouth rinse test kit to collect a saliva specimen for a COVID-19 test.

Duration: 3 min

Click here to download a PDF of the COVID-19 Saliva Collection Kit - Saliva (Mouth Rinse/Swish & Gargle) with Straw

Instructions

Before collecting Mouth Rinse/Swish and Gargle:

  • Please read all of these instructions before beginning
  • Drink a cup of water 60 minutes before collecting saliva to maintain adequate hydration which improves saliva flow.
  • Do NOT eat, drink, chew gum, smoke, or vape for at least 30 minutes before collecting saliva
  • Wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer

For specimen collection centre personnel:

  1. While wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), open the sealed bag and remove the specimen container and straw from the package.
  2. Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

For the patient:

  1. Make sure you are wearing a face mask.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  3. Unscrew the cap of the tube in the supplied kit. Place the cap upside down in a clean, secure spot as it will be used to seal the sample.
  4. Place the straw provided in the kit into the open tube.
  5. Remove your mask.
  6. Open the packet of saline rinse provided in the kit – this is sterile salt water. Squeeze all of it into your mouth, DO NOT SWALLOW. Put a mask on over your mouth and nose.
  7. Swish the rinse in the mouth for 5 seconds, then tilt the head back and gargle for 5 seconds.
  8. Repeat the Swish-Gargle 2 more times for a total of 30 seconds.
  9. Using the straw provided in the kit, slowly and gently expel rinse through the straw directly into the tube.
  10. Remove the straw and discard in the designated waste bin. Put cap on. Wipe away any collection material that may have contacted the outside of the tube.
  11. Return the tube to the specimen collection personnel.

  12. Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Put on your mask.

For specimen collection centre personnel:

  1. Ensure cap is on tightly.
  2. Place specimen in the biohazard bag.
  3. Complete all fields of the COVID-19 test requisition: include, the patient’s full name, date of birth, Health Card Number (must match the specimen label), source of specimen, date of onset, date of collection, physician name and address, and clinical diagnosis and place it in the outer pocket of the specimen bag, so it is not exposed to the specimen.
  4. To maintain optimum viability, the specimen should be stored and transported at 2-8°C. If transport to the laboratory will be delayed, specimen should be frozen at -70°C or below and shipped on dry ice.

To order kits or for more information:

Submit your order via the Ontario Health Digital Services page

Updated 5 Dec 2020