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IWK & COVID-19: Latest Updates
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Nose Swab & Gargle Tests

Updated: August 23, 2021 / 05:24 PM

There are now two ways to be tested for the Covid-19 virus:


Nose Swab

A nose swab can be used for anyone 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. 

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




Swish and 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 

Download Mouth Rinse & Gargle Instruction Sheet

Instruction Sheet (.pdf)

  • 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.


This video shows how the swish and gargle test is done:



Find out if you need a COVID-19 test

Nova Scotia Online Self Assessment

Based on your answers to COVID-19 screening questions, you may need to enter some personal information. Nova Scotia Health or IWK will use this information to schedule a COVID-19 test.


About your appointment

Your test appointment at the IWK assessment centre

Important information on what to expect, how to prepare and where to go.