Swish, gargle and spit: a made in B.C. solution for COVID testing kids

A less invasive procedure than the nasal swab test, a new mouth rinse test is being introduced in B.C. for testing students from kindergarten to grade 12.
By: Heather Marie Connors
September 18, 2020
Photo provided by the BCCDC.

The first of its kind in the world, a new rinse gargle and spit test for detecting COVID-19 was developed in British Columbia and is now available at assessment centres across the province. Particularly useful for collecting samples from young people, the tests can even be done without a health professional.

"Unlike the nasopharyngeal swab this is a new saline gargle, where you put a little bit of normal saline — so the sterile water in your mouth — you swish it around a little bit and you spit it into a little tube, and that's an easier way to collect it for young people," said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

With an increased emphasis on testing, public health officials have been considering various saliva-based testing methods from across the country. Because the collection tubes are produced by a B.C. company, this product has the added effect of reducing the province’s dependency on the global supply chain for testing supplies.

Source: CBC British Columbia


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