COVID-19 Treatment and the Report and Support Screening Form

Early detection is key when it comes to being considered for COVID-19 medication. Treatment for mild to moderate COVID-19 is recommended within 5 to 7 days of when symptoms begin. Not everyone is eligible for or would benefit from COVID-19 medications. However, Nova Scotians can be quickly assessed when they complete the Report and Support screening form when getting tested or after a positive rapid test.

If you test positive on a rapid test and/or if you have booked a PCR testing appointment, complete the Report and Support screening form as accurately as possible or call 1-833-797-7772 if you require assistance completing the form.

The Report and Support screening form will collect information to: 

  • help quickly identify people within 5-7 days of testing positive who are eligible for and may benefit from COVID-19 medications and treatments to reduce the risk of severe disease and hospitalization, and
  • help identify people as part of a priority group that might be at risk of severe illness for Public Health follow-up. 

COVID-19 treatments do not benefit everyone. Please note, you will only be contacted if you qualify for medication or Public Health follow-up. If you do not qualify, you will not be called.

COVID-19 medication and Report and Support online screening tool FAQs

When should I complete the Report and Support screening form?

You should fill out the Report and Support online screening form as accurately as possible when you:

  • Book a PCR test,
  • When registering for a PCR test at a COVID-19 testing centre or Public Health Mobile Unit,
  • Waiting for your PCR results, or
  • Have received a positive result on your rapid test.

This information is used to identify people within 5-7 days of testing positive who are at high risk of severe illness and may benefit from COVID-19 treatments.

How do I complete the Report and Support screening form?

Complete the form online at https://c19hc.nshealth.ca/self-report. If you are booking a PCR test by phone through 811, they will complete it for you. If you test positive on a rapid test and do not have access to the internet, you can call 1-833-797-7772 and a staff member will complete the form on your behalf. It is important to complete the form as accurately as possible.

If I fill out the form, does this mean that I get medication to treat COVID-19?

This information is used to identify people within 5-7 days of testing positive who are at high risk of severe illness and may therefore benefit from COVID-19 treatments. Medications for early and mild COVID-19 are not effective for everyone, and people should be aware that filling out the screening form does not necessarily mean they need or should take medication. Duration and severity of symptoms, vaccination status, certain medical conditions, liver or kidney function, or some medications may make the treatment ineffective. You will only receive a call if you qualify. Seek medical help if your symptoms get worse by calling 811 or 911.

If I fill out the form, does this mean that I will get a call from Public Health?

Public Health will only contact people who are at increased risk for severe disease who have completed the screening form. The people that Public Health would follow up with are based on guidance from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health as to who would benefit from COVID-19 medication. You will only receive a call if you qualify.

How will I know if I qualify for COVID-19 medication/treatment?

If the therapeutics team determines that you are eligible and you may benefit from COVID-19 medication/treatment, you will receive a phone call. You may also receive a phone call from a Public Health Nurse to further assess your current situation. Keeping in mind that this treatment is very limited in the people that would benefit from it.

At this time, if you do not qualify, you will not be contacted and you are advised to continue to follow Public Health’s recommendations of staying at home while you are sick, avoiding places where there are people at risk for seven days, and wearing a mask while you have symptoms.

While not all people who complete this form will need a follow up phone call or treatment, those who do, may receive a phone call from an unknown number, so please answer if you receive a call. Seek medical help if your symptoms get worse by calling 811 or 911.

If I tested positive on a rapid test and did not have a PCR test, am I still eligible for medication/treatment?

By completing the Report and Support screening form, your information will be assessed to determine if you qualify for treatment, regardless of testing positive on a rapid or PCR test. It is important to complete the form as accurately as possible.

While not all people who complete this form will receive a follow up phone call or treatment, those who do may receive a phone call from an unknown number, so please answer if you receive a call. Seek medical help if your symptoms get worse by calling 811 or 911.

Why wouldn’t I qualify for COVID-19 treatment if I’m considered high-risk?

COVID-19 anti-viral medications are very specific as to who they will benefit.

COVID-19 therapeutics (medications) are available for people who are high-risk for getting very sick including, the elderly, those without sufficient vaccination, or those with certain underlying medical conditions or immunosuppression.

Other factors taken into consideration are how long you’ve had symptoms, age and weight, pregnancy, ability to swallow tablets, liver or kidney function, drug interactions, availability of infusion sites, etc.

Many prescription medications, over-the-counter products, traditional medicines, natural health products, and vitamins interact with the COVID-19 treatments.

Using antivirals when they are not needed can encourage the development of resistance and make them no longer useful for you in the future.

What should I expect if I receive a call from Public Health?

A Public Health Nurse will call and ask the person who answers the phone to confirm who they are. This is so that the Public Health Nurse knows they are speaking with the right person.

During the call, the Public Health Nurse will ask questions to complete a full health assessment. The information provided during the call is confidential. If a Public Health Nurse is concerned about someone’s condition at the time of the call, they will ask the person to seek medical advice or call 911.

The information provided will then allow our health care providers to see if you are eligible for COVID-19 treatment/medication.

Can I get a prescription for medication from my family doctor/walk-in clinic/pharmacy?

An inhaler that contains budesonide (Pulmicort) may be appropriate for some patients with mild and early COVID-19. Any primary care provider can write a prescription for inhaled budesonide (Pulmicort).

The other medications available for COVID-19 treatment require a specific team of health care providers to approve the prescriptions for sotrovimab and nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid). They cannot be prescribed by anyone who has not been identified as a designated prescriber. The Report and Support screening form is the way that our health care team can determine if a person is eligible for this specialized medication.

Who will the information be shared with?

The information collected in this form will be shared with Nova Scotia Health to support access to early therapeutics (medication) and to identify those who will receive a call from Public Health for further assessment.

If I complete the Report and Support online screening tool, what will happen to my information if I get a negative result?

If a person tests negative on a PCR test, their information will not be used, and will be deleted. If you have another PCR test in the future, you need to complete the web form again.

Can I wait until I get a positive PCR result to fill out the form?

Completing the form before your PCR appointment and test result may seem premature, but medications for early and mild COVID-19 are recommended within 5 to 7 days of symptoms starting. Providing the information in the Report and Support screening form in advance of receiving your test result will allow timely assessment for medication/treatment for those with a positive PCR result.

Do I have to fill out the form every time I get tested?

Yes. If you test negative on a test, your information is immediately deleted. Therefore, if you have to take another test, it is very important to fill out the Report and Support screening form again each time.