Williams Lake area residents who get tested for COVID-19 can expect to have the results back within 48 hours.
“Tests from Williams Lake are generally analyzed in Kamloops, but we also have access to labs in Kelowna and through the B.C. Centre for Disease Control if needed,” an Interior Health Authority media spokesperson confirmed, adding the turnaround times are well below 48 hours and even as lows as 20 hours according to the BCCDC dashboard.
IH is also now offering the saline gargle to adults who require COVID-19 testing, which was previously only available to children.
The gargle option is available at all 26 IH collection centres, including Williams Lake.
Some individuals may not meet criteria for the gargle test, but that will be discussed when people call for their appointment and screening, IH noted.
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 is same for 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 done in the upper part of the throat behind the nose.
Individuals cannot eat, smoke, vape, brush teeth, gargle with mouth wash for one hour before test.
To do a self-assessment residents can go to the IH website and go through its COVID-19 test booking form.
As with children, it is suggested adults try practising the test at home with water before going to the collection centre, but it is important people do not practise in the hour before their actual test.
The testing site in Williams Lake is an ACTO trailer in the parking lot of Cariboo Memorial Hospital, where people arriving for a test are expected to stay in their vehicle until a nurse directs them.