COVID-19 Saliva Collection Kit –Saliva (Neat) with Straw

How to Collect a Saliva Sample for a COVID 19 PCR Test

This step-by-step guide shows you how to use a saliva 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 (Neat) with Straw


Before collecting saliva:

  • Please read all of these instructions before beginning
  • Drink a cup of water 60 minutes before collecting saliva to ensure adequate hydration for 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 center 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.

Saliva collection using straw method

  1. Make sure you are wearing a face mask.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer
  3. Ensure the collection tube is labelled with your information including name, date of birth, collection date.
  4. Unscrew the cap of the tube/container in the supplied kit. Place the cap upside down in a clean, secure spot as it will be used to seal the sample.
  5. Open the provided straw and place it into the open tube.
  6. To promote saliva production rub the inside of your cheek with your tongue or gently massage the outside of your cheek.
  7. Remove your mask.
  8. Allow saliva to pool in the mouth. Using the straw provided in the kit, gently expel saliva through the straw directly into the tube.
  9. Continue to gently expel the saliva through the straw until the level in the tube reaches between 2-3 ml not including the bubbles. This may take 2-5 minutes
  10. Remove the straw and discard in the designated waste bin. Put the 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. Put on your mask.
  13. Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer

For specimen collection center 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 attached 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