Elk Valley residents over the age of four can now get their COVID-19 screenings done via a gargle-and-spit test as opposed to the otherwise infamous sinus scraping option.
“Four year olds and up are eligible for the gargle-and-spit test now for COVID screening, and we’re hoping that will reduce the stigma to getting a test or the fear of getting a test – and that’s offered at the Sparwood Community Testing Centre,” said Dr. Tara Chalmers-Nixon, chair of the Elk Valley Hospital’s Medical Staff Association.
“(The gargle-and-spit test involves) no swab – they use a saline rinse, you gargle it and spit into a cup, and they are taking your spit and sending it off for this PCR test.”
Chalmers-Nixon reminds residents that in order to complete the gargle-and-spit test, patients can not have had anything to eat, drink, smoke or vape in the hour preceding the procedure.
Anyone taking the test, especially those with young children, are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the testing process prior to arrival.
Elk Valley residents looking to book a test at the Sparwood Health Centre may do so either online via Interior Health’s website, or by calling 1-877-740-7747 seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Interior Health’s 8-1-1 and 7-1-1 lines remain open.
For more information on COVID-19 visit Interior Health’s website.