Residents in the Cariboo who get tested for COVID-19 can expect to have their results back within 48 hours, as well as a new way to get tested.

So far, in November, residents in the Interior Health have got their results back on average in 27 hours, just below the provincial average of 28. Meanwhile, the Northern Health Region has the worst wait times in the province, with an average of 36 hours.

Interior Health is now offering the saline gargle to adults who require COVID-19 testing, which was previously only available to children. Some individuals may not meet the criteria for the test.

The gargle option is available at collection centres in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.

People need to book an appointment, and testing is not recommended for people who do not have symptoms. The test is the 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 the sample in the container.

The gargle collection is just as effective as nasopharyngeal swabs. Individuals who take the gargle test cannot eat, smoke, vape, brush teeth, gargle with mouth wash for one hour before the test.

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 in the parking lot of Cariboo Memorial Hospital, in 100 Mile House, it’s in the South Cariboo Health Centre. When arriving for a test, people are asked to stay in their vehicle until a nurse directs them.

Northern Health is yet to confirm whether the gargle solution is available in Quesnel.