Adults in the Vancouver Coastal Health region can now opt for a less-invasive COVID-19 test in certain scenarios.
The health authority announced Wednesday it’s making saline gargle tests available to the general population, which are more comfortable compared to the cotton swab up-the-nose test.
Previously, oral COVID-19 tests were only available to children.
Those doing a saline gargle test cannot eat, drink, smoke, or brush their teeth for at least one hour before giving their sample.
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The gargle tests are available at test collection centres in cities and at some test collection locations in rural areas. Cotton swab nasal tests are still the only option in acute care settings, at assessment centres, and family doctor’s offices.
Anyone who’s being tested as part of an outbreak or who was referred for a COVID-19 test by their doctor must also undergo a nasal swab test.
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