The Vermont Department of Health Lab and the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC) have partnered to provide COVID-19 test kits, free of charge, to certain health care providers in Vermont. Several types of test kits are offered depending on the facilities available to the provider. More information can be found in the following Vermont Health Advisory Network and guidance documents:
- Updated COVID-19 Testing Guidance and Collection Kit Ordering Information (August 12, 2020)
- COVID-19 Diagnostic Anterior Nares Testing: Prioritization and Specimen Collection (June 2, 2020)
- COVID-19 Testing Plan: A Coordinated Public Health and Health Care Response (July 27, 2020)
- Vermont Department of Health Information: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Types of Kits
The State of Vermont currently recommends COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests as the standard test for detecting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The State of Vermont offers two types of PCR test kits:
- nasopharyngeal (NP) swab kits, and
- nasal swab kits, which are used for anterior nares specimen collection. Refer to the June 2 Health Alert Network message on anterior nares testing to identify which patients should be tested using the nasal swab kits.
Specimens for PCR testing must be stored and shipped at refrigerated temperatures (2-8°C for up to 72 hours after specimen collection; if >72 hours, specimens must be frozen and shipped at -70°C or lower). If needed, kits ordered from the State of Vermont can be provided with Category B shipping coolers and cold packs. Learn more about collecting and packaging COVID-19 specimens.
Ordering Test Kits
Only providers with staff trained in COVID-19 test collection may receive kits. If a provider does not have trained staff, they should refer patients to one of the test sites located around the state.
- UVMMC Primary Care Providers:
- Order test kits through UVMMC. Please contact UVMMC Laboratory Customer Service at (802) 847-5121 or (800) 991-2799.
- FQHCs, Long-term Care Facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Pediatric Practices, and all Primary Care Providers not already working with UVMMC:
- Order test kits through the Health Department Laboratory.
Other types of providers should order test kits through commercial channels
Note: Any facility or health care provider doing wide-scale testing must coordinate with the Vermont Department of Health Epidemiology Program.
Distribution of specimen collection kits from the Health Department Laboratory warehouse is prioritized based on the status of the supply chain, current inventory, and the criticality of the requestor relative to current response objectives. An additional consideration is the entity’s ability to access the existing supply chain.
Prioritization is re-evaluated regularly and is subject to change as inventories are updated and state operational needs and capabilities are adjusted.
When supply levels are low or supply chains are interrupted, the distribution of materials will be prioritized among those testing the following categories of patients per the Health Alert Network message of June 2, 2020:
- Children under the age of 16
- Patients at increased risk of bleeding (e.g. thrombocytopenia, anticoagulated) or complications (e.g., neutropenia)
- Patients with nasal anatomic abnormalities (e.g. polyps, deviated septum)
- People who will require frequent, repeat testing (e.g. employees or residents of skilled nursing facilities)
- Those without the cognitive ability to understand the testing procedure (e.g. people in memory care or people with dementia)
|Priority||Provider Type||Order Fulfillment|
||Based on need for testing based on size of outbreak|
||50 kits to start, subsequent based upon actual usage|
||50 kits to start, subsequent based on usage|
At present time, the Health Department Laboratory is not supplying anterior nares test kits to UVMMC affiliated practices, subspecialists for general use (see special populations included in the priority list), or dental practices.
Sending Samples & Receiving Results
Send COVID-19 samples to the University of Vermont Medical Center Laboratory. Read the instructions for collecting, storing, and shipping samples.
Test results are reported to the hospital or clinical laboratory where the test was collected, which in turn notifies the ordering health care provider. Test results are sent through the Lab Web Portal.
Receiving results through the Lab Web Portal
The Vermont Department of Health Laboratory is pleased to announce that health care providers can now receive COVID-19 test result reports through our Lab Web Portal.
With the Lab Web Portal:
- Reports are delivered securely and in a more timely and efficient manner.
- Authorized users can view, print, and download patient reports in a PDF document soon after they are released by the Health Department Laboratory.
- Positive result reports are flagged so that users can prioritize those as needed, and reports can be printed as a batch.
- Users can set up notifications to be emailed when reports have been uploaded to the portal.
At this time, the Lab Web Portal can only be used for COVID-19 results reporting. Test requests must still be made using our Micro 220 form.
If you would like more information about the Health Department Laboratory’s Lab Web Portal, please email us at AHS.VDHVTLWPSupport@vermont.gov