VICTORIA -- Island Health has opened a new COVID-19 testing centre at the University of Victoria in an effort to improve testing accessibility for residents of Greater Victoria.

Drop-in testing services are not available at the testing centre, but anyone experiencing COVID-19, flu or cold-type symptoms can book a test at the UVic facility.

To book a COVID-19 test on Vancouver Island, call Island Health’s testing centre at 1-844-901-8442. A public health employee will respond to a test request within 24 hours to schedule the test, says Island Health.

People are also encouraged to use B.C.’s online COVID-19 self-assessment tool here before scheduling a test.

The new COVID-19 testing centre is located in Parking Lot 10 of the UVic campus, off of Gordon Head Road and West Campus Way.

The testing centre is open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“To meet the demand for COVID-19 testing on the south island, testing capacity and staffing have also been increased at the existing Victoria Health Unit and Peninsula Health Unit collection sites, and a new collection site was opened in September in the Westshore at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre site,” said Island Health in a release Monday.

As B.C. has a separate gargle test available for children, Island Health recommends showing this video to children before they take the COVID-19 test so they understand how the process works.

“Our thanks to the University of Victoria for generously providing us with the space to support Island Health’s Pandemic Response Plan,” said Island Health.