(COVID-19 swab test)

Vancouver Island Health authority has increased COVID-19 testing capacity in the region by opening a new site at the University of Victoria.

Those who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 can now book a test at the new facility at the UVic campus in parking lot 10, located off Gordon Head Road via West Campus Way.

This is the fourth testing site available in the south island, and tests all all four sites can be booked by appointment only.

Island Health says they have also increased testing capacity and staffing at the existing Victoria Health Unit and Peninsula Health Unit sites, and a new site was opened in September in the Westshore at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre.

The health authority says they are also exploring ways to increase testing capacity within other communities throughout Island Health, in order to meet demands.

Those who think they may need to get tested are advised to first use the self-assessment tool. If a test is deemed necessary, call 1-844-901-8442 and expect to hear back from an Island Health representative within 24-hours to schedule a test.

Children up to age 19 going in for a test will be administered a saline gargle test instead of the usual nasal swab test, and are asked to familiarize themselves with the process beforehand.