covid saliva test ontario

You can get a COVID-19 saliva test in Ontario starting this week

Rumour has it that getting the nasopharyngeal swab that is used to test for COVID-19 isn't the most pleasant experience, but starting this week, an easier, more painless saliva test will be available in Ontario.

Instead of having a stick jammed into the back of your throat via your nose, you'll be able to simply give a bit of your spit — acquired through a saline mouth rinse that you gargle — if you're getting tested at any of three hospitals in the province.

Unfortunately for anyone living outside of the GTA, the centres are all located in downtown Toronto: Mount Sinai Hospital, Women's College Hospital and the University Health Network.

Though the provincial government has confirmed that the new test will be an option at the above facilities as of sometime this week, it is unclear which day they will start offering them.

Residents will still have to wait for their sample to be sent off and analyzed by a lab, much like the swab test and unlike the at-home saliva tests that can give results within hours.

Also, the new format will, unfortunately, not do anything about the notoriously long testing lineups that have started snaking around many hospitals, and is slightly less accurate than the usual test, which is already wrong at least 20 per cent of the time.

But, it won't need to be administered by a healthcare professional of any kind, and also doesn't need the approval of Health Canada before it can be rolled out, along with its obvious unintimidating factor.

The test is thought to be an especially good option for children and will be similar to the one designed and currently provided to students in B.C.

Next up will hopefully be the COVID-sniffing dogs that Finland has started employing at its main airport.

Lead photo by

Maryland GovPics


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Toronto neighbourhood has had enough of break-ins they say are from respite centre

Toronto temperatures to swing by 18 C in less than 12 hours this week

Americans mistakenly think Toronto is the model for good public transit

Toronto store lends bike to frontline worker who got his stolen during hospital shift

Toronto man with 8 lifetime driving bans busted for speeding

Amazing Toronto magician James Randi was one of a kind

Some people plan on trick-or-treating in Toronto despite public health advice

The lost beauty of the TTC's original colour scheme