Interior Health says gargle COVID-19 test now available for adults | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Interior Health says gargle COVID-19 test now available for adults

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November 21, 2020 - 7:00 AM

Interior Health is now testing adults for COVID-19 using their spit rather than sticking a swab up their noses.

Interior Health Authority said the saline gargle method to test for the virus was made available to adults this week. Saline tests were previously only available for children.

The spit testing option is available at all 26 IH collection centres within the health region, according a statement from Interior Health.

Some people may not meet criteria for the gargle test and this will be discussed during the screening process when they call for an appointment, Interior Health said.

As with the swab test, people need to book an appointment and testing is not recommended for people who do not have symptoms.

The test follows the same procedures for both adults and children: swish saline for five seconds, gargle five seconds and do this cycle for a total of three times then deposit sample in the container.

The gargle collection is just as effective as nasopharyngeal swabs, but individuals cannot eat, smoke, vape, brush their teeth or gargle with mouthwash for one hour before test.

As with children, Interior Health suggests adults try practising the test at home with water before going to the collection centre, but it is important they do not practise in the hour before their actual test.

More information about the saline test can be found online here.

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