Emergency: 911
Telecare: 811
Poison: 1-800-565-8161
5850/5980 University Ave., Halifax, NS B3K 6R8

Nose Swab & Gargle Tests

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:

 Download Comfort Promise Rapid Testing Toolkit

 Comfort Promise COVID-19 Rapid Testing Toolkit (.pdf)


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.