No appointment necessary for rapid COVID-19 tests in Interior Health

Interior Health imageInterior Health image
Rapid antigen at-home test instructions. (BC Centre for Disease Control)Rapid antigen at-home test instructions. (BC Centre for Disease Control)

Rapid COVID-19 tests are available across Interior Health, while supplies last.

While there is no appointment necessary, you may be required to wait.

IH says these tests are reserved for high-risk individuals with COVID-19 symptoms. They have been available at community collection centres since the week of Dec. 27.

Those who are given a rapid test will take it home, follow the instructions which include obtaining a nasal swab sample, and the result will determine their next steps.

“If a rapid COVID-19 test indicates a positive result, you must continue to self-isolate and follow the guidance included in the test package, including how to self-report a positive result,” IH said.

A negative result means COVID-19 was not detected but it is still possible to have the virus. Therefore those who take an antigen at-home test should self-isolate until their symptoms improve and they feel well enough to return to regular activities.

A list of community collection centres where rapid tests are available is online at interiorhealth.ca, under COVID-19 and testing.

The health authority is strained at testing sites. Although capacities have been increased, residents are reminded that testing is only available to those who are ill.

“If you don’t have symptoms, you don’t need a test, even if you are a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you will not be given a test,” IH said.

This is part of updated guidance for when to get tests, as virus activity increases across B.C.

READ MORE: Interior Health updates guidelines for COVID-19 testing

Testing is also not recommended if you are fully vaccinated (two doses), experiencing mild symptoms and can manage your illness at home.

“Self-isolate for seven days. Notify your close contacts so they can self-monitor for symptoms.”

A COVID-19 test is recommended if you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms: fever or chills; cough; loss of sense of smell or taste; or difficulty breathing.

And if you have experienced one or more of the following symptoms for longer than 24 hours with no improvement: sore throat; loss of appetite; headache or body aches; extreme fatigue; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.

If you feel unwell and are unsure about your symptoms, contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1. Or complete a self-assessment at https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en.

READ MORE: Provinces to receive large shipments of rapid tests this month: prime minister


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