Need to Store and Transport Virus Testing Samples and Reagents?

Van Sample Cold Storage and Transportation
Cold Storage and Transportation
By Helen Terry, Project Manager, Test & Measurement and
Cindy Gisler, Marketing Manager, Test and Measurement

Products to help you meet CDC guidelines

Never before has fast and accurate testing been so important to our world. During a pandemic, being able to quickly test and diagnose those who contract the coronavirus is critical for treatment of the individuals and also for our understanding and containment of the spread of the disease. Equally important is the storage and transport of the samples or specimens you collect. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), inadequate or inappropriate specimen collection, storage, and transport are likely to yield false test results.

The CDC recently developed specific recommendations on storage and transportation of COVID-19 specimens as part of its March 15, 2020 Diagnostic Panel. COVID-19 samples and reagents must be kept at the right temperatures during storage and transportation. Having the right equipment to do so is key.

CDC guidelines for storage

Specimens and Samples

Specimens can be stored at 2 to 8°C for up to 72 hours after collection. If a delay in testing or shipping is expected, store specimens at -70°C or lower. Extracted nucleic acid should be stored at -70°C or lower.


Reagents: Store all dried primers and probes and the positive control, nCoVPC, at 2 to 8°C until rehydrated for use. Store liquid HSC control materials at ≤ -20°C.

Products that meet CDC guidelines for storage

You can find a variety of products for storing your valuable samples and making sure they are kept at the right temperatures. Instruments such as data logging monitoring devices allow you to remote monitor the temperature of refrigerators and freezers. If you are working from home, this is a huge benefit. Here are some recommendations:

Traceable® Wi-Fi Data Logging Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometers Compatible with TraceableLIVE® Cloud Service

Traceable Wi-Fi Data Logging Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometers

These handy instruments offer an easy and secure way to connect your smartphone, tablet, or personal computer remotely with your water baths, refrigerators, freezers, and biological/pharmaceutical lab equipment.

Once setup is complete you can securely monitor parameters 24/7, receive alarms remotely, view your data logging history, run reports in real time, and give access to other team members. No local software is required to use the cloud-based data interface. Get mobile push notifications, emails, or texts for out-of-range conditions, connectivity interruptions, low-battery condition or if your device is due for calibration.

Traceable® Excursion-Trac™ Data Logging Low-Temp ThermometerTraceable Excursion-Trac Datalogging Low-Temp Thermometer Stainless Steel ProbeEasily monitor temperatures overnight or for any time period with this data logger. Minimum and maximum temperatures are stored until the memory is cleared. Set high and low alarms in 1° increments; alarm sounds when temperature rises above or falls below set points. The alarm tracking feature stores data for up to 10 different alarm events detailing when the alarm state occurred, as well as when the unit returned within range. Alarm state indicators include visual LEDs, audio alerts, and flashing LCD segments. Transfer data recorded in a CSV format to any computer via a USB flash drive—no software is required.

CDC guidelines for transportation

According to the CDC, specimens must be packaged, shipped, and transported according to the current edition of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations. Follow shipping regulations for UN 3373 Biological Substance, Category B when sending potential 2019-nCoV specimens. Store specimens at 2 to 8°C and ship overnight to the CDC on ice pack. If a specimen is frozen at -70°C or lower, ship overnight to the CDC on dry ice. With the temperature range so specific, it is critical to use proper containers.

Products to transport samples safely

If you are transporting samples or reagents and need to keep them at a certain temperature range, then you will benefit from using data loggers designed for transport and specialized transport kits. Check out the following products that can take away some of the worry that comes with shipping temperature-sensitive items.

Traceable® Temperature and Temperature/Humidity Bluetooth® Data Loggers Compatible with TraceableGO™ App and TraceableLIVE® Cloud Service.Traceable Temperature/Humidity Bluetooth Data Logger TraceableGO and TraceableLIVEYou can safely transport valuable materials such as reagents, clinical samples, blood, vaccines, tissues, pharmaceuticals and food to any location with these reusable data loggers. They are ideal for anyone who needs to make sure the temperature or temperature and humidity of their items remain at set parameters during transport. Models are also available with probes designed to fit securely inside the carton while the data logger secures to the outside of the container for easy monitoring and access. There is now no need to open the container to read the data logger. These compact, durable data loggers fit almost anywhere—even inside a small cooler.

Cole-Parmer® PolarSafe® Transport Bag and Box Kits

Cole-Parmer PolarSafe Transport Bag and Coole Packs Bundle Transport Container

If you need a bag or box to protect samples during transport, these kits provide an easy and worry-free solution for transporting samples. They include a durable, insulated nylon bag or polypropylene box conveniently bundled with modular cooling packs. The bag or box and cooling packs work together to protect samples by maintaining specific temperature ranges for extended periods of time. The kits are ideal for life science samples/specimens, medications and drug trial samples.

Bundles are also available to help you get what you need in one pack.

Cole-Parmer® PolarSafe® Transport Kit and Traceable® Temperature Data Logger Bundles

Transport Kit and Traceable Temperature Data Logger Bundle Transport Container

The Cole-Parmer® PolarSafe® Transport Kit* together with a Traceable® Data Logger is the perfect combination to safely transport your critical samples while maintaining sample integrity. Choose between a PolarSafe® bag or box.

See more products for virus testing and cold chain monitoring

*WARNING – product is suitable as outer packaging only according to P650 per UN3373 (category B). 

To comply with shipping regulations for dangerous goods and infectious substances, additional packaging materials will be needed and packages containing infectious substances must be labelled in compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Hazardous Materials Regulations and the International Air Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations and other applicable laws and regulations.  Failure to comply with these requirements may be violation of federal law.

The use of this product to transport dangerous goods or infectious substances should only be done by a certified dangerous goods specialist.

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