On Thursday, health officials announced that young people who want to be tested for COVID-19 in British Columbia should not fear the discomfort of a nasal swab anymore. Dr. Bonnie Henry, a provincial health officer, stated that scholars had established a new method of testing that is non-invasive and can be done without the help of a health care professional.
Henry said it’s already available at COVID-19 testing centers across the province and described the test as a “mouth rinse gargle.”
Henry explained that one should put a little bit of normal saline in the mouth, swish it around a little bit and spit it into a bit of tube. She said that it was an easier way to collect it for young people. She added that it is something a young one can do with the help of his/her parents if needed, or by themselves. Students between the ages of four and 19 can use the gargle tests. This testing method has come when there is a growing number of a COVID-19 exposure at schools in B.C.’s Lower Mainland, leaving most parents worried early in the fall semester.
According to Henry, none of the incidents recorded so far has to lead to a real outbreak. She said people had had some staff and some students who have been in a school setting when they may have been infectious to others. She also noted everybody had been notified who needs to monitor for symptoms, and none of these has been high-risk exposures. Officials said they were hopeful that having a test that doesn’t require pushing a swab deep into a child’s nasal cavity will encourage people to be proactive, and testing would play an important role in making sure schools are safe.
Henry also said it is essential to get tested as soon as anybody has any symptoms. She added that to protect one’s friends, family, and community, one should take a step to get tested immediately. She said for K-12 students, they have a more comfortable alternative than the nasal pharyngeal swab that has been the standard they have been using. According to officials, this method is one of the first of its kind around the world. To reduce people’s dependency as a province on the global supply chain, which has been one of the pandemics, mainly around Canadians lab testing, Henry said B.C. Company would be providing the collection tubes.