News release

Faster COVID-19 Testing for Nova Scotians

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, announced today, Oct. 1, that improvements are being made to ensure Nova Scotians with symptoms of COVID-19 get tested faster.

“With school resuming and other parts of Canada seeing a second wave of COVID-19, we are increasing our capacity to test people with symptoms more quickly to make sure we detect and manage cases,” said Premier McNeil. “Our first step is a new online COVID-19 self-assessment tool, which will dramatically reduce the wait time for screening.”

As of today, instead of calling 811 as a first step, people can now do a COVID-19 self-assessment online. This will reduce the wait time to be screened for testing from 12 hours to about 10 minutes. If the online assessment determines that a person requires a test, the Nova Scotia Health Authority or the IWK Health Centre will call them within 24 to 48 hours to book an appointment.

811 will continue to take calls from people who cannot access the online tool or who wish to speak with a nurse about their symptoms.

“It is reasonable to expect a resurgence of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia and the improvements we’re making in our testing process will help us be prepared for it,” said Dr. Strang. “We can minimize any resurgence by continuing to follow all the public health measures to keep COVID-19 out of our communities as much as possible.”

Quick Facts:

  • 811 has received an average of 1,467 calls per day and served an average of 1,024 patients per day since the beginning of September
  • there are 26 primary assessment centres around the province: https://www.nshealth.ca/coronavirus-assessment

Additional Resources:

-- the COVID-19 self-assessment is at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/

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