What do I need to know about COVID-19 self-isolation?

Directions for self-isolation may vary slightly for each person, based on their personal situation. Please find specific information for different situations below.

SELF-ISOLATION REQUIRED

I have COVID-19 symptoms

What do I do? Visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en to complete a COVID-19 Self-assessment. If your symptoms get worse, call 811 for health advice from a registered nurse or call 911 for for access to emergency care.

Do I need to self-isolate? Yes. You must self-isolate immediately and continue to self-isolate until you receive your results and directions for next steps. Learn more about how to self-isolate 

If you have or develop any symptoms, you are required to isolate pending your test results.

I have some mild symptoms, other than a new or worsening cough.

  • If you are experiencing: 
  • cough (new or worsening)

OR

  • 2 or more of the following symptoms:
  • fever (chills, sweats)
  • headache
  • runny nose or nasal congestion
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

What do I do? To book an appointment, visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca 

Do I need to self-isolate?  Yes. You must self-isolate until you receive a negative result and direction on next steps. Please monitor for symptoms and follow public health guidelines.

What do I do? To book an appointment, visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca 

Do I need to self-isolate?  Yes. You must self-isolate until you receive a negative result and direction on next steps. Please monitor for symptoms and follow public health guidelines.

I am a Nova Scotia Health or IWK health care worker who was at one of the places listed in the potential exposure notifications on the Nova Scotia Health website, and the notice advised getting tested.

What do I do? Contact occupational health at Nova Scotia Health or IWK, or contact your employer  for instructions on impact to health care workers and direction about reporting to work. 

I was recently informed by Public Health that I am a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 and I need to get tested.

What do I do? 

Your COVID-19 vaccination status will significantly impact your self-isolation and testing requirements.​

If you are FULLY VACCINATED:

  • You do not need to self-isolate or get tested as long as you are not experiencing any symptoms.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from the exposure. Symptoms include: new or worsening cough or two of the following: fever (chills, sweats), shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, or headache.
  • Anyone who develops symptoms is required to self-isolate, book a COVID-19 test, and stay isolated until you receive a negative test result.

If you are NOT FULL VACCINATED:

  • Immediately self-isolate whether or not you have symptoms.
  • Book a COVID-19 test.
  • Book a second COVID-19 test 6 or 7 days after the exposure. You can stop isolating after 7 full days only if this test is negative and you have no symptoms. Avoid contact with immunocompromised people (i.e. nursing homes) for at least 14 days.
  • A third test is recommended on day 14.
  • If you choose not to be tested on day 6 or 7, you must isolate for a full 14 days from your most recent exposure. Testing continues to be strongly recommended after initial exposure and on day 14 after the exposure.

If you have or develop any symptoms, are required to isolate pending your test results.

I have travelled outside of NS, PEI or NFLD in the last 14 days. 

What do I do? If at any time you develop COVID-19 symptoms, visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en to complete a COVID-19 Self-assessment.

Do I need to self-isolate? You may need to self-isolate based on your vaccination status:

  • People who are fully vaccinated (2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine) at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia don’t need to self-isolate; testing is recommended
  • People who are partially vaccinated (first dose of COVID-19 vaccine) at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia must self-isolate for 7 days and receive 2 negative tests results in order to leave self-isolation after 7 days
  • People who are NOT vaccinated (0 doses of COVID-19 vaccine) at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia must self-isolate for 14 days; testing is recommended at the start and end of your self-isolation

Learn more about how to self-isolate

If you have entered Nova Scotia from outside Canada, please follow federal guidelines.

I believe I am a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 that is currently under investigation by Public Health

What do I do? 

Get tested for COVID-19 whether or not you have symptoms. Please book your test online at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en or by calling 811.

Do I need to self-isolate? Self-isolate until you receive a negative test result. If you receive confirmation from Public Health that you are a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, you must self-isolate for 14 days from your date of exposure.

*If you are FULLY VACCINATED (if it has been more than 14 days since your second dose of vaccine) you are not required to self-isolate as long as you are not experiencing any symptoms of the virus. You are still asked to get tested once and should monitor for symptoms up to 14 days after the exposure date. If symptoms develop you should self-isolate, get re-tested and stay isolated until you receive a negative test result.

Learn more about testing and isolation based on your vaccination status.

I am a rotational worker with no symptoms coming home from my worksite outside of Atlantic Canada.

You may need to self-isolate based on your vaccination status. Please follow the guidance for rotational works.

SELF-ISOLATION NOT REQUIRED

I do not have COVID-19 symptoms, am aged 16 or older and want to get tested at a rapid pop-up site.

What do I do? No appointment is required – first come first serve. Find out about upcoming rapid testing dates and locations.

Do I need to self-isolate? No. You do not need to self-isolate unless you receive a positive result and direction on next steps. Please monitor for symptoms and follow public health guidelines.

I do not have COVID-19 symptoms, do not fall into any other category listed above and want to get a standard COVID-19 test at a primary assessment centre.

What do I do? To book an appointment, visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca 

Do I need to self-isolate? No. You do not need to self-isolate unless you receive a positive result. Please monitor for symptoms and follow public health guidelines.

I am waiting for a member of my household to receive COVID-19 test results.

Do I need to self-isolate? No. You do not need to self-isolate as long as you do not have symptoms and/or have not come into contact with a confirmed positive case.

SPECIFIC DIRECTIONS PROVIDED

I was at one of the places listed in the potential exposure notifications on the Nova Scotia Health website, and the notice advised getting tested.

What do I do? Visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en to book your COVID-19 test immediately, even if you don’t have symptoms. 

Do I need to self-isolate? Carefully read the potential exposure notification to see the specific directions given about self-isolation. Learn more about how to self-isolate  Learn more about how to self-isolate