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Routine IT maintenance on Wednesday, June 19 will cause service interruptions between midnight and 6:00am affecting the YourHealthNS app and on-line appointment booking including COVID-19 testing, blood collection, X-Ray, EKG and the Need a Family Practice Registry.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

COVID-19 and Flu Testing

If you have any one symptom of COVID-19 or influenza, you should test. You can book your test online at

Book a COVID and flu test

If you need help booking, please call 1-833-797-7772.

You can find the locations and hours of operations for Nova Scotia Health's COVID-19 and flu testing locations here

Find a testing location

Martha Lowe performs a COVID test at the DGH drive through testing centre.

If you are at risk of severe disease, or meet the criteria for PCR testing, it is recommended to get a PCR test as soon as you can. This is important because you may be eligible for early treatment to prevent severe disease if you test positive.

Appointments are required for PCR tests and to pick up rapid test kits at COVID-19 and flu testing locations in Nova Scotia. Please arrive no more than 5 minutes before your appointment time. When picking up test kits for someone else, including children, the appointment must be in their name, and their physical health card must be presented on pick-up.

Other Testing Options

Please note: Beginning in July 2024, community rapid test distribution will pause for the summer while decisions are made for fall planning. During this time, rapid tests will continue to be available by appointment through Nova Scotia Health’s COVID-19 & Influenza Testing Locations.

Rapid Test Instructions and Community Access

If you do not have symptoms, you can pick up rapid tests without an appointment at a Public Health Mobile Unit or community distribution sites around the province. 

Please complete the Report and Support form when you book a PCR test or have a positive rapid test. The form can be completed online, or by phone at 1-833-797-7772 if you require assistance. Please note: COVID-19 treatments do not benefit everyone. You will only be contacted if you qualify for medication or follow-up. If you do not qualify, you will not be called.

Public Health Mobile Units

Public Health Mobile Units are another way for Nova Scotians to access PCR testing, or to pick up a box of rapid tests to take home. Drop-in and booked appointments are welcome. Find upcoming clinics here.

I need a test for travel purposes

You can find out what your options are for tests needed for travel purposes here.

Am I eligible for a PCR test?

The following groups are eligible for PCR testing in Nova Scotia:

1. People who have symptoms AND are one of the following:

  • 50 years and over
  • Unvaccinated (less than full vaccine series) and age 12 or older
  • Live or work in the following group living  settings:
    • Long-term care home
    • Residential care facilities
    • Corrections
    • Shelters and transition houses
    • Acute care settings
    • Entering a Disability Support Program facility
  • First Nations 
  • African Nova Scotians (18 and over)
  • Front line and community Health Care Workers with direct patient care and First Responders.  Frontline and community healthcare workers who work directly with patients include: doctors, nurses, paramedics, other hospital employees and continuing care assistants who provide direct patient care, dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and denturists, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants. Please bring your staff ID to your testing appointment.
  • Adults 18-49 year with one or more risk factors for severe disease:
    • Obesity (Body Mass Index >30 kg/m2)
    • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus     
    • Chronic lung disease, including poorly controlled asthma (e.g. on medication or hospitalization within the past 12 months)
    • Chronic kidney disease, including those on dialysis
    • Down Syndrome
    • Motor Neuron Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Myasthenia Gravis, Huntington’s Disease
    • Immunocompromised or receiving immunosuppressive therapy
  • Children and youth under age 18 with any of the following conditions:
    • History of prematurity < 29 weeks
    • Chronic lung disease including chronic lung disease of prematurity, cystic fibrosis, and severe asthma
    • Down Syndrome
    • Motor Neuron Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Myasthenia Gravis
    • Obesity (Body Mass Index >30kg/m2)
  • Pregnant
  • People who cannot perform a rapid test at home and require help due to a developmental, intellectual or physical disability.

2. Testing required for medical procedure

Who is considered high risk?

The evidence around individuals who are most at risk for severe disease continues to evolve, and this list may be updated as evidence unfolds. The greatest single risk factor for severe disease is advanced age. Individuals who have certain medical conditions, especially if they have multiple medical conditions, are also at increased risk. Healthy children are not at increased risk for severe disease.

The following people, particularly if unvaccinated or vaccinated but not boosted, are at increased risk of severe disease:

  • Older adults (increasing risk with each decade, especially over 60 years)
  • Pregnant persons
  • Any age and living with:
    • lung disease
    • heart disease
    • diabetes
    • kidney disease
    • liver disease
    • dementia
    • cancer
    • neurodevelopmental conditions (such as Down Syndrome)
    • sickle cell disease
    • neurological conditions (e.g., epilepsy, stroke)
    • immunocompromised status, including those taking medications which lower the immune system, such as chemotherapy
    • obesity (body mass index equal to or greater than 30)

How do I prepare my child for a gargle test?



Children or youth between the ages of 4 and 18 years old may be able to have the gargle test if they qualify for PCR and are able to:

  • swish salty water in the mouth for 5 seconds, then
  • gargle with the salty water for 5 seconds, and repeat both steps 2 more times (total time of 30 seconds), then
  • spit the salty water into a container 

For detailed preparation instructions, please view the gargle instruction sheet (PDF) 

It is extremely important that children and youth who are using the gargle testing method follow these guidelines, as failure to do so will require them to have their COVID-19 test via swab collection. 

Note:  Gargle tests do not screen for influenza

What happens after my COVID-19 and flu test?

For people with symptoms: Stay home when sick, avoid higher risk people and places, and wear a mask when in indoor public places even with mild cold-or flu-like (respiratory) symptoms.

For people who test positive for COVID-19: Follow the directions for those who test positive here. For the 7 days after symptoms start or you test positive (if no symptoms), avoid high-risk people and places, and wear a mask when away from home.

How do I receive my PCR test results?

When people come for their testing appointment, they will be asked at registration for their email and phone number, as well as a health card or student identification number. You may also receive a registration number when you book your test. Please see below if you don’t have a health card or student card – you are still able to get a test and treatment, if needed.

For COVID-19 results:

If you have a valid provincial health card, you’ll be able to receive your COVID-19 test results in the following ways:

  • E-mail auto-notifications

    Email results may be received 24 hours a day. Please check your “Junk” and “Other Inbox” folders for your test results. Look for an email from

  • Auto-call notifications

    Auto-calls may occur daily between noon and 5 p.m. It’s important that people keep their phones with them and on if they are expecting a test result. The caller ID may indicate unknown name, unknown number or a long-distance/out-of-province number; please answer those calls.

  • Online at

    If you do not have a health card or student ID, you can access results online using the registration number you received when you booked your test, if applicable.

    If you do not have a health card, student ID, registration number, or if it has been longer than 48 hours since your test and your results are not available through one of the above methods, please complete the Report and Support form so you can be assessed for medications. If you qualify, a Nova Scotia Health team member will contact you to discuss your treatment options. 

Those who have been tested should have their health card (any province except Ontario) or identification number ready. They will be asked to enter the last four digits to receive their result. People with an Ontario health card should enter the last four numbers that appear before the letters on their card.

For influenza results:

Those who test  positive for influenza and may also benefit from anti-viral medication may receive a call from your primary care provider or a member of Nova Scotia Health’s pharmacy therapeutics team to discuss your treatment option.

COVID-19 and Flu Testing: Frequently Asked Questions

Will I receive confirmation of my appointment?

Yes. Immediately after booking your appointment, you will receive an email confirmation from This confirmation will include important instructions about your appointment – please read carefully. 

If you don’t receive this confirmation, please check your “Junk” and “Other Inbox” folders.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule my appointment?

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, you can do that online. Your appointment email will include a link to reschedule or cancel if needed.

If you booked your appointment over the phone, and you need to cancel or reschedule, please contact Nova Scotia Health at 1-833-797-7772 and follow the instructions.

Can my family member be tested at the same time?

No, an appointment is for one person only. Additional appointments can be booked online or by calling 1-833-797-7772.

You can also go to a Public Health Mobile Unit with or without an appointment and receive a PCR test if eligible, and COVID-19 rapid test kits to take home.

Do I have to wear a mask during my appointment?

Yes. Masks are required in all COVID-19 testing locations, including Public Health Mobile Units.

How early should I arrive for my appointment?

Please arrive no more than five minutes before your scheduled appointment time.

Can I walk up to a drive-through clinic to be tested?

For drive-through services, you must be in a vehicle and wearing a mask. Walk-ups are unsafe and not allowed.

Can I bring my pet with me? 

Pets are not allowed in any testing site, including drive-through. Service animals are allowed. 

Learn More

Accessing Primary Care

There are many ways to access primary care, even if you're not currently attached to a primary care provider.

Answer a few quick questions to receive personalized instructions for accessing Nova Scotia Health's primary care options near you including in-person, virtual and telephone options.

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Find Emergency Care

Use this tool to identify the emergency care options that are currently available nearest to you.

If this is a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 for immediate assistance

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YourHealthNS App

Much of Nova Scotia's healthcare program and service information is now available on the YourHealthNS mobile app. Download for free on the Apple Store and Android Apps for Google Play.

COVID-19 and flu testing locations Map

COVID-19 and flu testing locations

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