New COVID testing site opens in Nanaimo with more lanes, heated kiosks

Capacity for COVID-19 drive-through testing is doubling in Nanaimo.

Island Health has opened a new appointment-only testing site at Vancouver Island University on Fifth Street in Nanaimo, replacing the Grant Avenue testing location. The new site will be open between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.

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There will be two more lanes added, as well as heated kiosks, permitting health officials to work in more comfortable conditions and be protected from bad weather.

Drop-in testing is not offered.

Mouth rinsing and gargle testing are also available.

The increased testing capacity comes as Central Vancouver Island COVID-19 cumulative numbers stand at 256, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. That’s higher than the 183 on Southern Vancouver Island and the 134 on the north Island.

People with symptoms can call 1-844-901-8442 and expect to hear back from an Island Health representative within 24 hours to schedule a test.

Anyone wondering if they need to get tested can go online to the self-assessment tool.

For those interested in mouth rinsing or gargle tests, there is more information here.

Children can watch a video:

For information on symptoms and testing, go to

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