A saline gargle test is now available for adults on Vancouver Island who require a COVID-19 test.
The testing option is currently available across the Island, as well as the Lower Mainland, at community COVID-19 collection sites.
Initially, the test was made available to children between Kindergarten and Grade 12 when B.C. residents returned to school back in September.
Health officials made it widely available to children as the gargle test is considered less invasive than the swab test currently being used for most COVID-19 cases.
“Unlike the nasopharyngeal swab, this is a new saline gargle, where you put a little bit of normal saline…in your mouth, you swish it around a little bit and you spit it into a little tube, and that’s an easier way to collect it,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry back in September.
“This test is kind of cool and something we’ve had in the works for a while. This new method is more comfortable, particularly for our younger children.”
The gargle test is developed by a B.C. company, which reduces the province’s dependency on the global supply chain, according to Dr. Henry.
The BC Centre for Disease Control has expanded the availability of the test to adults in the Vancouver Island region and Lower Mainland area but is intending on offering it as an option in other health authorities in the future.