Calgarians turn up their noses at nasal swab COVID tests
CALGARY -- Nasal swabs for COVID-19 have become more common in Alberta and that seems to have changed at least some people's minds about getting tested.
CTV News has received anecdotal reports from people who claim to have turned down the nasal swab, as well as a health care worker who says they have also seen the tests refused.
According to AHS, nasal swabs are the “gold standard” in COVID-19 testing but the tests were in short supply globally early on in the pandemic. Throat swabs are also effective and reliable but are still the second choice in health care.
While some find the gag-sensation associated with the throat swab to be unpleasant, most people seem to find the nasal swabs more unpleasant.
In a statement Tuesday, AHS said demand remains high for testing and report the number of completed tests has stayed steady — suggesting that declined tests do not account for a significant number of potential cases.
For both on-demand and scheduled testing, people don’t know which test they will receive until they are in front of the person taking the sample
Speaking to people in line for testing at the Richmond Road facility, few expressed any preference for one test or another.
“I would do it just to be safe, to make sure everybody around me was safe, especially my family,” said one man who did not want to give his name. “But I wouldn’t want to do the nasal, I’d rather do the throat swab.”