Island Health upgrades, relocates COVID collection sites

Island Health is taking steps to winterize the working and collection environments for staff and patients at COVID-19 collection sites throughout the region. 

Island Health’s winterization strategy includes the construction of solid structures as well as moving some collection sites to locations that can accommodate drive-through service. This strategy will help ensure the safety, security and comfort that our care teams and patients need. 

Effective today, testing services in the Comox Valley and Duncan will be provided out of inspection bays at local Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) Claim Centre sites. These drive-in bays will be completely separate from ICBC’s daily operations. Collection site locations and hours of operations are available here.

In the past week, Campbell River and Nanaimo have already moved their collection sites into environments suitable for fall and winter weather. In the coming weeks, we will be finalizing the construction of solid structures at 10 sites – and preparing for another move in Port Alberni to the Glenwood Sports Centre.

Our thanks to ICBC, the City of Port Alberni and all community partners who have provided space and shelter on their sites for this critical piece in Island Health’s pandemic response. 

All Island Health collection sites provide testing by appointment only. 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 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.

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

Mouth rinse-and-gargle tests are now available for both children (aged 4+) and adults. Read the 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.

Find more information on symptoms and testing information, visit: