The parameters for getting tested for COVID-19 are fairly wide.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority says if you have symptoms, or if you work outside the home, are immunocompromised or a care provider of someone who is, if you’re going to be in the hospital for more than 24 hours, or if you are asymptomatic but are concerned about your health, you can get tested.
Tracy Sanden, who works at one of the testing sites, says some people feel there is a stigma around getting tested.
Earlier on in the pandemic, some were worried they would be recognized, and in particular in smaller centres where everybody knows each other.
Sanden says now that the parameters are wider, it shouldn’t be as much of an issue.
Some are worried that going to a testing site would be risky and could lead to contracting the virus.
Sanden stresses that all precautions are taken and everyone is wearing masks, including the person being tested, up until the moment they are swabbed.
You can call the HealthLine 811 or your health care provider to request a test.
There are 2 different tests for the virus – one goes through the nose and the other through the mouth.
SHA test site lead in Regina, Chris Cave, explains that the one with the long, flexible swab that goes through the nose is mostly used for children because the one that goes to the back of your mouth, has a second component where you nasal passages are also swabbed and most kids won’t let the second part happen.
He doesn’t believe the tests are painful, but many would describe it as uncomfortable although quick, lasting 4 or 5 seconds.
The message from the SHA is if you feel you need a test, you should get one.