It could take 72 to 96 hours, or three to four days, to receive PCR COVID-19 test results in Nova Scotia, the province’s health authority said Saturday.
In a brief statement, Nova Scotia Health said the delay is due to the volume of tests.
“We recognize it is difficult and stressful to wait for your results,” it said. “Thank you for your patience at a challenging time.”
It advised people who have been waiting for more than 96 hours for their test results to call 1-844-996-0694 and leave their name, date of birth, health card number and date of test.
“Please do not call before the 96-hour mark; Public Health will be unable to return your call,” it said.
The province did not release updated COVID-19 case numbers on New Year’s Day, but on Friday another 618 cases were reported, pushing the estimated active case count to 5,117. A total of 34 people were in hospital, including four in intensive care.
Hospital visitor restrictions
Nova Scotia Health also put increased visitor restrictions in place at the QEII Health Sciences Centre and the Dartmouth General Hospital “to reflect COVID-19 activity.”
As of Saturday, inpatients at both hospitals can have just one consistent visitor. Exemptions can be made in the following circumstances:
- Palliative care and other patients nearing end of life
- Patients receiving medical assistance in dying
- Children under 18 seeking treatment and/or admitted to hospital
- Outpatients, including patients arriving at the hospital for emergency and ambulatory care clinics, appointments or procedures who need support to receive care due to physical, intellectual, cognitive and emotional conditions
- Patients requiring support for critical treatment decisions such as organ transplantation, initiation of hemodialysis, and at the discretion of the clinical team.
“Nova Scotia Health sincerely apologizes to patients and their families for temporarily tightening visitor restrictions at this time. We understand restrictions are difficult for patients and families and appreciate the important and valuable role family caregivers play in supporting patient care and mental wellbeing,” it said.
“As our teams work to implement these changes to keep our patients and staff safe, we thank all of you for your continued support, patience and understanding. We will monitor the situation closely and will make changes when appropriate.”