COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 Testing

Test Kits

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:

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. 

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:

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.

COVID-19 Anterior Nares Specimen Collection Kit Distribution Policy

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.

Priority Provider Type Order Fulfillment
1
  • Outbreak Response
Based on need for testing based on size of outbreak
2
  • Pediatric Practices
  • Entities conducting testing for those who require frequent repeat testing (e.g., skilled nursing facility staff, Department of Corrections staff)
  • Entities conducting testing of individuals at increased risk of bleeding or with nasal anatomic abnormalities
50 kits to start, subsequent based upon actual usage
3
  • Non-UVMMC primary care practices, based on adequacy of supply chain
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.