Students in the Vancouver School District who develop symptoms of COVID-19 at school can receive a BC Children’s Hospital Mouth Rinse/Gargle Sample Collection kit from their school to take home.
The sample can then simply be dropped off to the safe, secure location at BC Children’s that is listed in the kit or to any LifeLabs location.
“We began to work with the school system to try to make testing children for COVID-19 more feasible for families,” said BC Children’s Medical Microbiologist Dr. David Goldfarb in a release.
The initiative will begin this month, follows a four-month field test in ten schools.
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“We found that school-aged children were generally quite good at collecting these samples on their own with some parental support and this facilitated a home-based collection approach,” Goldfarb added.
In light of the move, parents and children are still asked to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 before children attend school each day. If they have any symptoms, children should remain at home and access testing at a collection centre, if advised.
BC Children’s will initially be handing out 1,200 kits: twelve kits for each elementary and secondary school in the district, with more being sent as needed. The hospital is also looking at offering kits to other districts across the province.
For more information on children and COVID-19, see the BC Children’s COVID-19 website.