Vancouver students are now able to take a COVID-19 test from the comfort of their own homes.
BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 saline gargle test kits to schools throughout the district this April.
Microbiologist Dr. David Goldfarb said the at-home tests “make testing children for COVID-19 more feasible for families.”
He said families who already received kits appreciated being handed them as they picked up an unwell child from school.
“Children can have diverse needs and families in the field test said the ability to collect the sample in a familiar place greatly reduced stress,” Goldfarb said.
“School-aged children were generally quite good at collecting these samples on their own with some parental support and this facilitated a home-based collection approach.”
Their samples can be dropped off at any LifeLabs location for testing.
Goldfarb is hoping the at-home COVID-19 testing strategy can be launched in other B.C. districts.
As part of a previous field test, 10 Vancouver schools were given take-home tests for four months on an as-needed basis.
This included David Livingstone Elementary, Lord Roberts Elementary, Lord Roberts (Annex), Elsie Roy Elementary, Mount Pleasant Elementary, Charles Dickens Elementary, Charles Dickens (Annex), King George Secondary, Simon Fraser Elementary and Queen Alexandra Elementary.
Schools started with 12 at-home COVID-19 test kits to distribute to students who fell ill.
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