Skip to main content

COVID-19 Sequencing Update-Laboratories to Submit all Positive SARS-CoV-2 Samples to the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory


Viruses are constantly changing, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.2 Genomic sequencing of all positive cases identified in Nevada through molecular-based tests will provide more complete data on the variants circulating within the state. Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 441A.235 requires clinical/medical laboratories to submit microbiological cultures, subcultures, or other specimens or clinical material to the State Public Health Laboratory or other laboratory designated by the health authority for confirmation or further testing if requested by the health authority.3

Specimen Submission:

For updated COVID-19 guidance, please review the DPBH Technical Bulletin website and Nevada’s COVID-19 response website regularly. Email with questions about COVID-19 guidance. Questions about NSPHL lab sequencing should be directed to 4,5

Nevada State Public Health Laboratory (NSPHL)

SARS-CoV-2 Whole Genome Sequencing (this test includes an assessment for virus variants)

MethodWhole Genome Sequencing
Test ScopeDetection of SARS-CoV-2 variants from specimens of interest
Preferred SpecimenOriginal specimen in viral transport medium or saline. Specimen should be previously tested positive with a positive Ct value of 30 or lower.

Extracted RNA is also acceptable if original specimen is no longer available
Specimen ContainerScrew-cap viral transport tube; extracted RNA can also be submitted in any vessel type
Specimen IdentificationLabel tube with patient’s first and last name, DOB and date/time of collection.
Special InstructionsInclude the date the sample was collected.

Please denote Ct values on requisition form if already known.
Shipping RequirementsStore and transport original specimens refrigerated at 2-8° C. Frozen is also acceptable.

Specimens can be transported frozen on cold packs/ice.

Shipping options include:
1. Federal Express: Please use account number 1046-0029-8
2. The Nevada State Public Health Laboratory Courier Service (call 775-688-1335 for details)
3. Specimens can be brought to the NSPHL between 0800 and 1700 hrs., M-F

Specimens should be shipped to:

Nevada State Public Health Laboratory
1660 N. Virginia St. Reno, NV 89557, Mail Stop 385
(775) 688-1335
Sample Rejection CriteriaSpecimens without confirmed reactivity (‘positive’) or with Ct values above 30 (see above)

Specimen not refrigerated

Mislabeled/unlabeled specimen
Turn-around- time96 hours