FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 
 

See below for our most frequently asked questions. You may also use the search bar to the right to filter what you are looking for.

What is the test Iridia performs, does it hurt?


The tests we perform are the Point of Care Rapid Antigen (POCT Ag) test and the Nucleic Acid Amplification (NAAT)/Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 infection. One of our Sample Collection Specialists will take a shallow swab of each nostril. The shallow nasal swab does not hurt but might tickle or make you sneeze. If you require a nasopharyngeal swab for your travel, we are able to perform this type of test as well, just please let us know when you come in for your appointment.




How will I receive my PCR test results?


When you come in for your appointment, you will receive an email from us which contains a link for you to use to access your official lab results and your health certificate. Please be advised that clients are responsible for ensuring the documentation provided by us suffices the purposes the test is required for (eg. travel). If you provide your PHN, you will be able to access your results through LifeLabs MyCareCompass as well.




Will my PCR results process over the weekend?


Our team and the accredited lab we use operate seven days a week. Our team works to ensure that any results are sent out to you as soon as possible.




What happens if my PCR test results are positive?


If your PCR test results come back positive, Public Health will be notified by our accredited lab and you will be contacted directly. Someone from our medical team will also contact you to inform you of the positive result and advise you on the next steps.




Can I walk-in for a test?


Unfortunately, to ensure the health and safety of both our clients and staff, we require all appointments to be made on our website prior to arriving to the testing facility. Same day appointments are possible if there are times available, please contact us if you have any difficulty with booking.




Who will perform the Covid-19 test?


One of our friendly Iridia Sample Collection Specialists will perform the test. All our Collection Specialists are BC Registered Nurses.




How far in advance should I book my appointment?


We recommend booking your appointment 1 - 2 weeks before you intend to travel. We do our best to meet demand, if there is a time that you are looking for that isn't available please contact us at booking@iridiamedical.com and we will do our best to accomodate you.




What if my flight or travel plans are rescheduled/cancelled?


We understand that with travel some things are out of your control. If your flight gets rescheduled or cancelled, please contact us at booking@iridiamedical.com and we will do our best to accomodate a test that works with your new flight details. Please provide us with at least 72 hours’ notice for cancellation and you will receive a full refund. Please note that appointments cancelled within 72 hours of the appointment, as well as missed appointments, are subject to a cancellation fee of $75. For assistance with a cancellation more than 72 hours before your appointment time, please get in touch with us at booking@iridiamedical.com or at 604-685-4747 x 8.




What should I bring to the test?


Please bring a mask, a piece of government-issued ID, and your BC Care card if you have one. If you are testing for travel purposes please bring your flight itinenary and the passport you intend to travel with. We ask for your passport so that we can ensure that your name appears on your lab report the same way as it appears on all other documentation. We will also take down your ID number in case we need to verify your identity at any stage of your travel.




I am travelling to a country that requires proof of PCR lab accreditation (and ISO accreditation), is it available?


Of course, we use LifeLabs to process all our PCR results and their accreditation certificates can be found here.




I need my PCR test a certain number of hours before my flight, when should I book?


We have created a chart to help you decide when to book your PCR test, please click here.




Can my child take the test?


Yes, the test we perform is a shallow nasal swab and is easy for kids. Our nurses are very friendly and willing to take extra time with children to ensure that they are comfortable. We recommend checking the requirements of the country you are travelling to to see what age testing is required for.




Are the PCR results guaranteed?


PCR results are not guaranteed. There is always a chance that your result can come back as Invalid, which means that the sample collected was not sufficient enough in determining if you are Negative or Positive. This is rare, but can happen. This is why we strongly recommend booking as close to the beginning of your allowed time window as possible to allow for a re-test if necessary. Re-tests are free of charge.




Can I use my results to re-enter Canada?


For re-entry to Canada, please visit the Government of Canada's website for up-to-date information. Please be advised that we have heard of people not being able to re-enter Canada on a Canadian COVID test.




What is the difference between Antigen/PCR/Antibody tests?


We offer three different tests at the IMCC. We conduct PCR and Antigen tests at our clinic and offer a requisition to obtain an Antibody test from a Lifelabs location. The PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test is a Nucleic Acid Amplification (NAAT) test for SARS-CoV-2. The test detects genetic material that is specific to the virus. The PCR test is considered the 'gold standard' for tests as it can detect the virus within days of infection, and before a person becomes symptomatic or infectious. A result for a PCR test will usually take around 18-24 hours to return. The rapid antigen test detects the presence of a protein that is part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The antigen test is particularly helpful at detecting when someone is at or near peak infection, and is infectious to other people. A result for an antigen test is available within 20 minutes. The Antibody test is a blood test used to detect antibodies. This test is not used to determine if someone has an active COVID-19 infection. Rather, it detects whether someone has had a COVID-19 infection in the near past.




Is the antigen test valid for travel?


Our antigen test has been used for travel to select countries, including the UK, Germany and the United States. It is the responsibility of the passenger to contact airlines and/or border control to ensure that the test will be accepted for travel. Specifics to mention when contacting airlines about our antigen test: Iridia Medical is accredited through the Diagnostic Accreditation Program of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, to perform Point of Care COVID-19 testing. We use the Abbott Panbio™ system for our antigen rapid testing.




I am going to US, which test should I choose?


For US travelers (Except for Hawaii), both PCR and antigen tests are accepted for border entry, travelers can choose whichever test best suits their needs. Please keep in mind that if you are entering a closed community or retreat in the US, they may have different regulations. Please check the restrictions for your destination before booking.




Are nasopharyngeal swab, oropharyngeal swab and saliva test available?


Our default collection method is the anterior nares sampling method (shallow nasal swab). Nasopharyngeal swabs can be offered upon request with no extra cost, please communicate your request with our staff. Unfortunately the oropharyngeal and saliva (saline gargle) test are not available at the moment.




Can I bring my pet with me to attend the appointment?


For the health and safety of our clients and staff, our collection centre is a pet-free environment. Service animals are permitted.




Can you sign the paperwork from the airline/government?


Unfortunately we are unable to sign any documents offered by the clients. However, we will try our best to help fulfill the requirements of the airlines and foreign countries. Please talk to our staff if you are concerned about special requirements for your country.




I am going to Hawaii, what do I need to know?


For travellers to the state of Hawaii, only the PCR test is currently accepted. If you are travelling with one of the two Canadian trusted partners, Air Canada and Westjet, we will be able to offer you the state required documents to enter the state of Hawaii. For other airlines, the acceptance of documents is not guaranteed. Please talk to our staff if you are not travelling with Air Canada or Westjet. For more information, please contact your airline or visit the State of Hawaii website.




I am travelling to UK, do the antigen and PCR tests fulfill the UK government requirements?


Yes, both our antigen and PCR tests meet the sensitivity and specificity requirements of the UK governement.





See below for our most frequently asked questions. You may also use the search bar to the right to filter what you are looking for.

What is the test Iridia performs, does it hurt?


The tests we perform are the Point of Care Rapid Antigen (POCT Ag) test and the Nucleic Acid Amplification (NAAT)/Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 infection. One of our Sample Collection Specialists will take a shallow swab of each nostril. The shallow nasal swab does not hurt but might tickle or make you sneeze. If you require a nasopharyngeal swab for your travel, we are able to perform this type of test as well, just please let us know when you come in for your appointment.




How will I receive my PCR test results?


When you come in for your appointment, you will receive an email from us which contains a link for you to use to access your official lab results and your health certificate. Please be advised that clients are responsible for ensuring the documentation provided by us suffices the purposes the test is required for (eg. travel). If you provide your PHN, you will be able to access your results through LifeLabs MyCareCompass as well.




Will my PCR results process over the weekend?


Our team and the accredited lab we use operate seven days a week. Our team works to ensure that any results are sent out to you as soon as possible.




What happens if my PCR test results are positive?


If your PCR test results come back positive, Public Health will be notified by our accredited lab and you will be contacted directly. Someone from our medical team will also contact you to inform you of the positive result and advise you on the next steps.




Can I walk-in for a test?


Unfortunately, to ensure the health and safety of both our clients and staff, we require all appointments to be made on our website prior to arriving to the testing facility. Same day appointments are possible if there are times available, please contact us if you have any difficulty with booking.




Who will perform the Covid-19 test?


One of our friendly Iridia Sample Collection Specialists will perform the test. All our Collection Specialists are BC Registered Nurses.




How far in advance should I book my appointment?


We recommend booking your appointment 1 - 2 weeks before you intend to travel. We do our best to meet demand, if there is a time that you are looking for that isn't available please contact us at booking@iridiamedical.com and we will do our best to accomodate you.




What if my flight or travel plans are rescheduled/cancelled?


We understand that with travel some things are out of your control. If your flight gets rescheduled or cancelled, please contact us at booking@iridiamedical.com and we will do our best to accomodate a test that works with your new flight details. Please provide us with at least 72 hours’ notice for cancellation and you will receive a full refund. Please note that appointments cancelled within 72 hours of the appointment, as well as missed appointments, are subject to a cancellation fee of $75. For assistance with a cancellation more than 72 hours before your appointment time, please get in touch with us at booking@iridiamedical.com or at 604-685-4747 x 8.




What should I bring to the test?


Please bring a mask, a piece of government-issued ID, and your BC Care card if you have one. If you are testing for travel purposes please bring your flight itinenary and the passport you intend to travel with. We ask for your passport so that we can ensure that your name appears on your lab report the same way as it appears on all other documentation. We will also take down your ID number in case we need to verify your identity at any stage of your travel.




I am travelling to a country that requires proof of PCR lab accreditation (and ISO accreditation), is it available?


Of course, we use LifeLabs to process all our PCR results and their accreditation certificates can be found here.




I need my PCR test a certain number of hours before my flight, when should I book?


We have created a chart to help you decide when to book your PCR test, please click here.




Can my child take the test?


Yes, the test we perform is a shallow nasal swab and is easy for kids. Our nurses are very friendly and willing to take extra time with children to ensure that they are comfortable. We recommend checking the requirements of the country you are travelling to to see what age testing is required for.




Are the PCR results guaranteed?


PCR results are not guaranteed. There is always a chance that your result can come back as Invalid, which means that the sample collected was not sufficient enough in determining if you are Negative or Positive. This is rare, but can happen. This is why we strongly recommend booking as close to the beginning of your allowed time window as possible to allow for a re-test if necessary. Re-tests are free of charge.




Can I use my results to re-enter Canada?


For re-entry to Canada, please visit the Government of Canada's website for up-to-date information. Please be advised that we have heard of people not being able to re-enter Canada on a Canadian COVID test.




What is the difference between Antigen/PCR/Antibody tests?


We offer three different tests at the IMCC. We conduct PCR and Antigen tests at our clinic and offer a requisition to obtain an Antibody test from a Lifelabs location. The PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test is a Nucleic Acid Amplification (NAAT) test for SARS-CoV-2. The test detects genetic material that is specific to the virus. The PCR test is considered the 'gold standard' for tests as it can detect the virus within days of infection, and before a person becomes symptomatic or infectious. A result for a PCR test will usually take around 18-24 hours to return. The rapid antigen test detects the presence of a protein that is part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The antigen test is particularly helpful at detecting when someone is at or near peak infection, and is infectious to other people. A result for an antigen test is available within 20 minutes. The Antibody test is a blood test used to detect antibodies. This test is not used to determine if someone has an active COVID-19 infection. Rather, it detects whether someone has had a COVID-19 infection in the near past.




Is the antigen test valid for travel?


Our antigen test has been used for travel to select countries, including the UK, Germany and the United States. It is the responsibility of the passenger to contact airlines and/or border control to ensure that the test will be accepted for travel. Specifics to mention when contacting airlines about our antigen test: Iridia Medical is accredited through the Diagnostic Accreditation Program of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, to perform Point of Care COVID-19 testing. We use the Abbott Panbio™ system for our antigen rapid testing.




I am going to US, which test should I choose?


For US travelers (Except for Hawaii), both PCR and antigen tests are accepted for border entry, travelers can choose whichever test best suits their needs. Please keep in mind that if you are entering a closed community or retreat in the US, they may have different regulations. Please check the restrictions for your destination before booking.




Are nasopharyngeal swab, oropharyngeal swab and saliva test available?


Our default collection method is the anterior nares sampling method (shallow nasal swab). Nasopharyngeal swabs can be offered upon request with no extra cost, please communicate your request with our staff. Unfortunately the oropharyngeal and saliva (saline gargle) test are not available at the moment.




Can I bring my pet with me to attend the appointment?


For the health and safety of our clients and staff, our collection centre is a pet-free environment. Service animals are permitted.




Can you sign the paperwork from the airline/government?


Unfortunately we are unable to sign any documents offered by the clients. However, we will try our best to help fulfill the requirements of the airlines and foreign countries. Please talk to our staff if you are concerned about special requirements for your country.




I am going to Hawaii, what do I need to know?


For travellers to the state of Hawaii, only the PCR test is currently accepted. If you are travelling with one of the two Canadian trusted partners, Air Canada and Westjet, we will be able to offer you the state required documents to enter the state of Hawaii. For other airlines, the acceptance of documents is not guaranteed. Please talk to our staff if you are not travelling with Air Canada or Westjet. For more information, please contact your airline or visit the State of Hawaii website.




I am travelling to UK, do the antigen and PCR tests fulfill the UK government requirements?


Yes, both our antigen and PCR tests meet the sensitivity and specificity requirements of the UK governement.





Still have questions? Contact us

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