A saline-gargle test is now available to anyone of any age as part of COVID-19 testing.
On Thursday, Interior Health’s Kamloops’ medical health officer, Dr. Carol Fenton, told the Thompson Regional Hospital District the initiative was rolled out this week.
It is a less invasive alternative to the nose swab test, which has been described as unpleasant by those who have received one as it involves deep insertion.
Until now, the gargle test was only available to young children.
“Any adult who prefers the gargle can go and have that instead of the swab if they read the instructions and meet the criteria,” Fenton said.
“So, no smoking, no brushing your teeth, no drinking, no anything for the hour before so that we have access to all of the virus and cells in the mouth. So that’s really good because the swab was quite unpleasant.”
Fenton said public health has moved around resources in order to ensure testing capacity. She said testing centres are well-staffed and labs are working “flat out.”
“We’re doing quite well in terms of testing in IH,” she said.