Up the nose: What it’s like to get tested for COVID-19

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Do I have COVID-19?

That question has lingered on my mind since returning to Edmonton from Arizona on March 14. After days of waiting, I finally got tested for the disease on Wednesday, a process that only took 30 minutes.

I arrived at the clinic, which Postmedia has decided not to name to prevent a flood of people who haven’t been sent there by Health Link, where I was greeted by a nurse who asked me to sanitize my hands and put on a mask. She was wearing protective gear including a face shield and a gown.

I was led to a hallway with blue and green plastic chairs. Some people were already there and they were all wearing masks, too. A wide variety of people were being tested — young children, women, men, couples and families.

Each time the nurse called one of us into the smaller room, she would wipe down the chair.

“These chairs have never been so clean,” she joked, trying to keep the mood light.

The test itself is done behind a curtain where a swab is put up each nostril. It takes a few seconds. The procedure didn’t hurt but it didn’t feel great either. I wouldn’t want to do it again unless I had to.