Going to a public event in Halifax? Get a rapid COVID-19 test while you're at it

·2 min read
Nova Scotia Health will be at the Halifax Waterfront all August long weekend offering self-administered rapid testing and take-home testing kits. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC - image credit)
Nova Scotia Health will be at the Halifax Waterfront all August long weekend offering self-administered rapid testing and take-home testing kits. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC - image credit)

If you're out in Halifax this long weekend catching the Busker Festival or any of the city's summer concert series, you'll likely run into Nova Scotia Health.

As the province's rapid testing strategy continues to evolve, pop-up testing is now happening at events throughout the city, as well as at regular spots like the Halifax Convention Centre.

"I think it should be [here], I think that's great, I'm glad to see it," said Marie Dutka, who came to check out the Halifax Busker Festival with her husband, Quentin LeBlanc.

The couple tries to get tested regularly because LeBlanc is a truck driver and is often on the road and out in various communities.

Nova Scotia Health is also giving out take-home testing kits at rapid testing sites. Dutka said she loves the idea of the kits because it makes regular testing "even simpler."

Jeorge Sadi/CBC
Jeorge Sadi/CBC

The kits were a nice surprise for Karen Howard, who stopped by the Busker Festival with her partner and two young children. She picked up some take-home tests for the kids, while she and her partner got a rapid test done on site.

"We were just talking about it and thinking we'd go up to the convention centre, and I looked over and it was there," she said.

Jeorge Sadi/CBC
Jeorge Sadi/CBC

"I think it's great, it's easy, and maybe more people will get tested."

Rapid tests at pop-up sites are self-administered, and involve rotating the swab five times in each nostril. Some rapid testing locations, such as the Centennial Arena in the city's west end, are still administering deep nasal swabs.

"It's super easy, a lot of people talk about how uncomfortable the testing was. But I listened to her instructions and it wasn't too interfering at all," said Julie Chamberlain, who also took home a do-it-yourself testing kit.

Chamberlain drove from New Brunswick to Halifax to catch a Monday flight to New York, her first trip in two years. Before leaving, she did a quick Google search to find out where in Halifax she could get a rapid test.

"I was so pleased to find that there were so many pop-ups," she said. "I just came and was so surprised to find it in open air, and no line up, and free. I think it's great what Nova Scotia's doing."

As of Friday, there were nine active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia. The province is no longer reporting case data over the weekend.

Jeorge Sadi/CBC
Jeorge Sadi/CBC

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