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COVID-19 Testing

IWK COVID-19 Testing Centre sign


Testing centre is now closed

The IWK COVID-19 testing centre is now closed. Testing continues to be offered at various locations throughout the province. Visit for information and booking directions.



Swish & Gargle Test

Children or youth 4-18 years old may be able to have the gargle test if able to

  • swish salty water in the mouth, then
  • gargle with the salty water, and do both steps 3 times then
  • spit the salty water into a container 
  • Remember not to brush teeth, eat, drink or chew gum for one hour before your test.
  • Younger children do best when they practice these steps at home with water.
  • Do not practice for two hours before the test as this would affect the sample.

Please review the Swish & Gargle Instruction Sheet (.pdf)




Nose Swab Test

A nose swab can be used for anyone (all ages) needing a Covid-19 test. 

A nose swab will be used for infants and young children (less than 4 years old) or when a child/youth cannot swish and gargle.

Please review the IWK Comfort Promise COVID-19 Rapid Testing Toolkit (.pdf)

This video from BC Children’s Hospital shows how a nose swab is done and things to do to make it easier: