Nova Scotia introduces booking for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing

Click to play video: 'Global News at 6 Halifax: Dec. 7'
Global News at 6 Halifax: Dec. 7
WATCH: Global News at 6 Halifax from Dec. 7, 2020 – Dec 7, 2020

Nova Scotia will begin accepting bookings for asymptomatic testing of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The province says it is a procedure mainly recommended for people who have had a lot of close social interaction or many social contacts.

“This is an opportunity for Nova Scotians to help keep each other safe, especially as we approach the holiday season,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health.

“By getting tested, you can help us limit the potential spread of the virus by detecting positive cases in people who do not have symptoms.”

Asymptomatic testing is available for people who:

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  • 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 for COVID-19
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In the central zone, the Zatzman Sportsplex in Dartmouth is open for asymptomatic testing without an appointment.

But in all other zones appointments will be required and can be booked on the province’s website. The option for asymptomatic testing must be chosen on the website.

Pop-up rapid testing sites, such as the ones that have been held at the Halifax Central Library or in Wolfville, will continue, the province says.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Nova Scotia health official discusses COVID-19 vaccine planning'
Coronavirus: Nova Scotia health official discusses COVID-19 vaccine planning

However, you must be 16 years or older in order to be tested at those sites.

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The good news is that individuals getting tested through the asymptomatic testing method are not required to self-isolate while waiting for their tests or results.

People that are getting tested for other reasons can find out whether they need to self-isolate on the province’s website.

Nova Scotia health is reminding residents that just because someone has received a negative test result does not mean they can’t become infectious in the next few days.

A negative test result is also not a licence to ignore public health rules, the province said, and if someone does develop symptoms they are to immediately self-isolate and complete the province’s COVID-19 self-assessment.

Testing will be prioritized for individuals who have symptoms and their close contacts so the province says no one is guaranteed to receive an asymptomatic test.

Nova Scotians are being urged to continue to keep their social circles small and to continue to follow public health guidelines.

That includes wearing a mask, maintaining two metres of physical distance, proper hand hygiene and adhering to gathering limits.

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