Update on COVID-19 testing

Nova Scotia Health Public Health would like to thank Nova Scotians for answering the call to get tested for COVID-19. Due to the high demand, Central and Eastern Zones are experiencing capacity challenges.

Our priority remains to test those who have symptoms, those who have been to potential exposure locations and high risk close contacts notified by Public Health. If you don’t have symptoms and still want to get tested, we want you to get tested but we ask for your patience. You can visit a pop-up rapid testing site or book an asymptomatic test at a primary assessment centre. Please do not book a symptomatic appointment if you don’t have symptoms. It’s important to keep those appointments free for those who show symptoms.

As a reminder, there are three options for getting a COVID test in Nova Scotia:

  • Primary assessment centres,
  • Public health mobile units and
  • Pop-up rapid testing.

Unless otherwise specified, testing at primary assessment centres and public health mobile units is by appointment only. There is currently drop-in testing at the Membertou Entertainment Centre in Sydney from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily and at all pop-up rapid testing locations. Unfortunately, drop-ins at all other locations will be turned away.

Available appointments at primary assessment centres and mobile units are posted three days in advance in our booking system. If you do not see an available appointment, please check back. When people cancel appointments, they also reappear in the booking system. When booking a test, please book at a location closest to your home.

All of our primary assessment centres and public health mobile units offer gargle testing as an option for children and youth between the ages of 4 and 18. Children and youth must not eat, drink, chew gum, brush teeth, smoke or vape for at least one hour before the test. If children are practicing gargling at home, they must not gargle for at least two hours before their appointment.

For more information about testing options: www.nshealth.ca/coronavirustesting

Please remember:

  • Bring your health card if you have one.
  • You may have to wait in line outside; please dress accordingly.
  • Testing is free.

If, in the past 48 hours, you have had or are currently experiencing the following symptoms, visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en to book an appointment or call 811:

• fever or cough (new or worsening)


• any of the following symptoms (new or worsening):

• sore throat

• runny nose

• headache

• shortness of breath

Currently, anyone travelling to Nova Scotia from outside of Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving.

All Nova Scotians are advised to continue monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and are urged to follow Public Health guidelines on how to access care. Up-to-date information about COVID-19 is available at novascotia.ca/coronavirus