Change in public health contact tracing process

The current spike in cases requires the Public Health team to shift contact tracing priorities. Public health is currently able to contact all new cases within 24 hours. There may be delays in contacting high-risk contacts of those cases.
In some situations individuals may receive a message via email or text rather than a phone call with instructions to self-isolate and get tested. A public health nurse will follow up by phone. However, this may take longer than the usual 72 hours.
Those deemed to have lower risk exposure and are identified as low or moderate risk contacts will no longer be contacted by public health.
If you think you may be a contact of someone with COVID-19, and public health has not contacted you, please get tested and self-isolate until you receive a negative result. Please book your test online at  or by calling 811 and identify yourself as close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19. If you believe you are a close contact of a positive case:
  • Please DO NOT go directly to a COVID-19 primary assessment centre or a mobile unit site. You must make an appointment.
  • Please DO NOT go to a pop-up rapid testing location.
  • The test for COVID-19 is free. If you have a health card, please have it ready when you book your testing appointment. Bring it with you to your appointment too.
  • You can walk, drive, bike or taxi to your appointment. Please DO NOT take the bus or ferry. If you need help with transportation, let us know when booking your appointment.
If you are not a close contact but have symptoms, please get tested and self-isolate. 
Nova Scotians are encouraged to get tested regularly, especially if you live in an area where there is community spread. Nova Scotia Health is ramping up testing capacity through primary assessment centres, mobile units and pop-up rapid testing sites. For more information about testing options, visit