These days anyone requiring a test for COVID-19 will have an easier time than the dreaded nose swab.
A saliva, or gargle test, is now being offered in all designated screening centres (CDD), designated assessment clinics (CDE) and screening service points. This type of testing is also offered during mass screening of our health workers and during mobile screening.
It involves gargling for a few seconds with a small amount of bottled water before spitting it out into a cup. This technique is much more comfortable and less invasive than oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swab testing.
The gargle test is available to symptomatic and asymptomatic persons presenting at a screening site, with the exception of children under 6 years of age, people with symptoms that have been present for more than 7 days or persons with impairments (cognitive, physical or other) that limit adequate and safe performance.
When used for people who have been symptomatic for less than seven days and for asymptomatic people, the gargle test has very good validity. The sample is analysed in the laboratory following the same process as swab samples. The result is usually available within 24-48 hours of collection.
People who wish to avail themselves of a gargle test will not have to apply for it; it will be offered to all those who meet the criteria.
In a press release, microbiologist-infectiologist and chief infection prevention and control officer Vincent Masse explained that at this stage of the pandemic, the addition of a simple and more comfortable sampling method is important to maintain the participation of the population in getting tested. “The gargle test performs very well compared to the nasopharyngeal swab test,” Masse said.
The CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS is reminding locals that despite the decrease in the number of cases in the region and the shift to green, it is still important for anyone who presents symptoms to get tested for COVID-19.
In order to reduce waiting time at a walk-in clinic, people can register their information in advance on the cv19quebec.ca platform and advise the receptionist that the registration form has been completed.
The last update on COVID-19 infections was on Friday, July 9 when 77 new cases were reported across the province, bringing the number of active cases to 711. One new death was reported, and hospitalizations dropped by five for a total of 96, with 22 patients in intensive care.
In the Estrie region two new cases were reported on Friday, both in the Haute-Yamaska, bringing the number of local active cases to 24.