Living with COVID-19 - How to Protect Myself and Others

While most formal public health measures are no longer mandated by government, the virus is still present in our communities. That’s why it’s important to continue to take steps to minimize the spread of COVID-19. 

Get Vaccinated 

Reduce the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 by getting vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe and effective. Nova Scotians age 5 and over are eligible to be vaccinated. 
You can book an appointment for yourself or someone who is not able to do so (like a parent, grandparent or child). You can also book an appointment if you’re eligible for an additional dose or booster dose
Those who have been vaccinated can find their proof of vaccination online at 
Book Your Vaccine Appointment:

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Stay Home if You Feel Sick 

If you feel unwell, or if another person in your household is feeling unwell, it is recommended that you stay home to prevent the spread of illness in your community. 
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, testing is recommended and isolation is required if there is a positive case in your household. Follow the directions for testing and isolation on this webpage. 
If you test positive, you are considered a positive case of COVID-19. Please follow these instructions for your next steps (including how long to self-isolate). Nova Scotia continues to require all COVID-19 cases to isolate for 7 days from the onset of symptoms, or positive test (if no symptoms). 
If you test negative, stay home until your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if you have gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting) and you don’t have a fever. 
Be prepared in case one or more of your family members has a COVID-19 infection. Please see the Nova Scotia Pediatric Advisory Group guidelines on “Preparing in case your child or family member get COVID”.

Monitor for Symptoms and Get Tested

Nova Scotians who have symptoms of COVID-19 must complete testing. Common symptoms include a new or worsening cough or two or more of these symptoms: 
  • fever (chills or sweats)
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
  • headache
  • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
If you are experiencing symptoms, complete the online self-assessment to book an appointment for a PCR test or rapid test pick-up, based on eligibility. You can also book a PCR test to confirm the results of a positive rapid test.
If you don’t have symptoms, we recommend regular rapid testing if you are at high risk of severe disease, or spend time near someone who is at high risk. Rapid tests are available across the province for community members to pick up without an appointment. Find a rapid test distribution site near you
Note: not all people who contract COVID-19 experience symptoms. Those who have a positive case in their household but have no symptoms are recommended to complete testing.
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Reducing Risk in Shared Living Spaces 

If someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, there are steps you can take to limit the spread of illness. This infographic (.pdf) is a helpful resource.
It is recommended that you get tested if there is a positive case in your household, even if you do not have symptoms. Follow the guidelines for those who have been exposed to COVID-19, but do not have symptoms.
If you begin experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-isolate and get tested, following the directions on this webpage

Travel Safely

If you plan to travel, you need to research the requirements for the place where you are going, as well requirements for re-entry into Canada after international travel.
While it may not apply in all circumstances, the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Recovery Letter may assist those who have had COVID-19 in the past 90 days as they plan their travel.
When travelling, protect yourself and others by wearing a mask in indoor public places, social distancing when possible and practicing good hand hygiene. 
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Slow the Spread

As we learn to live with COVID-19, continuing to follow good Public Health practices is encouraged. 
Wear a multi-layer well-fitting mask in indoor public places:
  • Masking continues to be recommended in indoor public spaces, particularly when you’re with people other than your household and close social contacts.
Limit your social contacts:
  • Especially if you have someone in your social circle who is at higher risk of severe illness.
  • Be mindful of the number of social contacts you have. The more people present, the higher the risk of spreading disease. 
Keep 2 meters of physical distance between yourself and people outside your household, when able. 
Take steps to gather safely:
  • Think about who your contacts are and consider keeping your gatherings small if anyone is at risk.
  • Outdoor gatherings are safer than being indoors. Avoid or limit time in crowded indoor places.
  • If possible, keep your space well ventilated.  For example: open a window.
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick, and avoid close contact with anyone showing cold-like symptoms. 
Maintain healthy habits:
  • Clean your hands often. If soap and water are not available, and your hands are not visibly dirty, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Wash and disinfect high-touch surfaces (kitchens, bathrooms, door handles, etc.).
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, not into your hand.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

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Going out? Do it safely.

Find more helpful Coronavirus Resources 
Learn more about COVID-19 public health measures at
Government of Nova Scotia Infographic – Living with COVID-19