Asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 is continuing in Nova Scotia to help detect positive cases in people who do not have symptoms and limit the potential spread of the virus.
Today, Dec. 18, was the deadline to book an asymptomatic test, but that has been extended so Nova Scotians can continue to book tests into January.
There are also new recommendations on testing for rotational workers and post-secondary students from outside Atlantic Canada coming back to Nova Scotia after the holidays.
“We know that asymptomatic testing plays an important part in containing the virus,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “That’s why our testing strategy has continued to evolve. I want to thank people for coming forward to get tested, and all those involved in administering and processing the tests.”
Rotational workers are now asked to get two tests during their modified self-isolation. Since Dec. 4, they have been asked to get a test on day 6, 7 or 8. There is now a recommendation to be tested on day 1 or 2. Workers must still complete the full 14 days of modified self-isolation, even if they have negative test results.
Starting Jan. 4, post-secondary students from outside Atlantic Canada who return after the holidays and don’t have symptoms should get one COVID-19 test on day 6, 7 or 8 of their self-isolation. They must complete the full 14 days of self-isolation, even if they have a negative test result.
“While asymptomatic testing is voluntary, it is strongly recommended as an added layer of protection for rotational workers and students, their families and households, and their communities,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health. “By getting tested, you’re helping us detect the virus early enough to isolate household contacts before they can unknowingly spread the virus to others.”
General asymptomatic testing is available for people who:
- do not have symptoms
- have not travelled outside the Atlantic provinces within the past 14 days
- have not visited a potential exposure location
- have not been in contact with someone who has tested positive
Appointments can be booked up to three days in advance through the COVID-19 self-assessment: https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en .
Pop-up testing sites will also continue into the new year for general asymptomatic testing. Because they use rapid tests, the age limit is 16 and over at these sites. Appointments are not required for pop-up testing sites.
People who get a general asymptomatic test are not required to self-isolate while waiting for their test or results. People getting tested for other reasons can find their self-isolation requirements at http://www.nshealth.ca/what-do-i-need-know-about-covid-19-testing-and-self-isolation .
A negative test result is a good indication that a person is not able to spread the COVID-19 virus at the time of testing but they could still become infectious in the next few days. People who receive a negative test result must continue to follow public health measures and if they develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and complete the COVID-19 self-assessment.
Everyone is reminded to keep their social circles small and follow public health measures including wearing masks, physical distancing, practising good hand hygiene, and staying home and completing the COVID-19 self-assessment if they have symptoms.
- anyone with symptoms should visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to do a self-assessment and book a test if recommended – only call 811 if you cannot do the self-assessment online
- more information about COVID-19 testing and pop-up locations is available at http://www.nshealth.ca/content/covid-19-testing
- people can find self-isolation requirements associated with testing at http://www.nshealth.ca/what-do-i-need-know-about-covid-19-testing-and-self-isolation
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)
The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)
Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)
For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)
For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/symptoms-and-testing/
The COVID-19 self-assessment is at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/