COVID-19: Basics and Biosafety Precautions (Online CE Course)

(based on 1,411 customer ratings)

Author: Rob Nickla, RBP, M(ASCP) Reviewers: Shoolah Escott, MS, MLS(ASCP) and Rory Huschka, M.Ed., MLS(ASCP)

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COVID-19: Basics and Biosafety Precautions details the latest recommendations for working with specimens that potentially contain the Coronavirus. Rob Nickla, a public health professional, discusses this history of the virus that causes COVID-19 along with all the important details necessary for laboratory professionals to properly protect themselves from Coronavirus infections.

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Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 1.5 hour(s)
Approved through 1/31/2025
Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - Supervision/Administration, Quality Control/Quality Assurance, and Safety: 1.5 hour(s)
Approved through 1/31/2025


  • Describe common characteristics of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Summarize appropriate decontamination and waste handling procedures for COVID-19 specimens.
  • Recognize appropriate biosafety precautions for handling COVID-19 specimens.
  • Identify proper packaging and shipping requirements for COVID-19 specimens.

Customer Ratings

(based on 1,411 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Introduction
  • History, Symptoms, and Transmission
  • Specimens and Testing
      • COVID-19 Specimens
      • Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)
      • COVID-19 Testing
      • Laboratory Testing
      • CLIA
      • CDC recommends collecting and testing which of the following acceptable upper respiratory specimen types for initial diagnostic testing of SARS-CoV-2?
  • Regulations, General Hazards, and Viability
  • Cleaning, Disinfection, and Decontamination
      • Cleaning and Disinfection
      • Cleaning and Disinfection (continued)
      • Disinfectants, Decontamination and Sterilization
      • Disinfectants, Decontamination and Sterilization (continued)
      • SARS-CoV-2 Decontamination
      • Manufacturer Instructions for Disinfectant Use
      • Disinfectant Preparation
      • Antiseptic
      • Laboratory COVID-19 Waste
      • Spills
      • Coronaviruses have a thick outer envelope wall which make them naturally resistant to many common disinfectants.
      • Common laboratory disinfectants, such as diluted household bleach, will work better as a hand sanitizer than most commercially available alcohol-based...
      • Laboratories need to follow special enhanced practices for handling COVID-19 infectious waste.
  • Coronavirus Biosafety Precautions
    • Risk Assessment
      • Risk Assessments
      • Risk Assessments (continued)
      • A risk assessment is a process to evaluate the probability and consequences of exposure to a given hazard, with the intent to reduce the risk by estab...
    • Precautions and Biosafety
      • Standard Precautions
      • Standard Precautions (continued)
      • Biological Safety Levels (BSLs)
      • Biosafety
      • Which biological safety level (BSL) does the CDC recommend COVID-19 specimens be handled and worked with?
      • The EPA has a primary role for which responsibility?
    • Engineering Controls and PPE
    • Training
      • Training
      • In regards to COVID-19 training for employees, which of the following is true?
    • Infectious Particles and Reducing the Spread
      • Infectious Particles
      • Infectious Particles (continued)
      • Reducing the Spread of COVID-19
      • Which federal agency plays a significant role for ensuring the safety of workers?
      • To effectively inactivate SARS-Co-V-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, which list of disinfectants should a laboratory choose from?
  • Shipping
      • Shipping Training
      • Shipping Requirements
      • Shipping Laboratory Specimens
      • Category B Shipments
      • Category B Labeling and Marking
      • Laboratories that need to send a COVID-19 sample out for referral testing, must classify and ship the sample as?
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Basic
Intended Audience: Medical laboratory scientists, medical technologists, and technicians. This course is also appropriate for any staff working in a medical facility that may come into contact with laboratory specimens.  
Author Information:  Rob Nickla, RBP(ABSA), M(ASCP),  began his public health career in 2004 at the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory (ASPHL) working in Mycobacteriology, Bacteriology, and Virology. While there, he became the State Training Coordinator and Bioterrorism Training Coordinator in the Bioemergency Response Section and actively participated in several APHL Special Interest Groups for Basic Microbiology, Biosafety & Biosecurity, and Select Agent Training. He served on the ASPHL Safety Committee for several years and helped develop and conduct many in-house safety related trainings. In 2012, he accepted an Associate Biosafety Officer position in the Environmental Health and Safety Department at Arizona State University (ASU). Currently, Rob is the BT (biological threat) and CT (chemical threat) LRN (Laboratory Response Network) Coordinator and State Training Coordinator with the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL). He currently sits on the Clinical Laboratory Assistant Program’s Student Advisory Committee with Clackamas Community College, and on the Medical Technologist Program’s Student Advisory Committee with Portland Community College.
Reviewer Information:  Shoolah Escott, MS, MT(ASCP), currently works as a biosafety and biosecurity consultant and trainer. She has over 14 years of experience working with the CDC and has experience as a regional coordinator with APHL. Earlier in her career, she was the manager of microbiology at Memorial hospital in the greater Boston area and more recently served as the Biosafety Manager and Alternate Responsible Official for the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory.
Reviewer Information:  Rory Huschka, M.Ed, MLS(ASCP) is a Program Director at MediaLab Inc. He holds a BS degree from North Dakota State University in Medical Technology and an MS degree in Educational Leadership. He is a former Program Director for both MLT and MLS programs. Rory continues to teach as an adjunct professor for various colleges and universities.
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CDC generated illustration of SARS-CoV-2 virus (2).

shutterstock 1695445129

A CDC scientist working in a BSC (19).

Salivary droplets in the air as a result of coughing and sneezing without a mask or covering their mouth (22).