Island Health expands COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo

Island Health has opened a new COVID-19 collection site at Vancouver Island University. People with cold, flu or COVID-19-like symptoms can now book an appointment to get a test at the VIU campus, 900 Fifth Street, in Nanaimo.

The VIU campus location replaces the collection site at Grant Avenue, while also adding two additional lanes to double the capacity for testing. Staff will be able to work in heated kiosks, providing them much needed protection from the weather as we head into winter. As with all other Island Health collection sites, the VIU collection site is by appointment only and will be open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Drop-in testing is not available.

To determine whether you require a COVID-19 test, use the self-assessment tool. 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. Please have your personal health number (or your child’s) available when booking a test and when arriving at the collection site. 

Mouth rinse and gargle tests are now available for both children (aged 4+) and adults within Island Health.

Read the mouth rinse and gargle instructions for adults to learn what to expect. It is recommended that children being tested watch a video in advance to understand and practice the gargle test process. For more information on symptoms and testing visit:

For information about self-isolation before and after testing, please visit:

Our thanks to Vancouver Island University for working in partnership with us to support Island Health’s Pandemic Response Plan.