N.S. starts rollout of online booking for COVID-19 tests

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Nova Scotians living in the province's central zone and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms now have the option of booking a test appointment online.

The zone includes the Halifax region, Eastern Shore and West Hants.

Anyone in those areas completing the online self-assessment who requires testing will be automatically redirected to the appointment page to arrange for a test within 48 hours, according to a release from the province.

It said 811 will continue to book tests for people in the central zone who require one but are unable to book online or wish to speak to a nurse.

People who complete the self-assessment but live outside the online booking zone will be called within 48 hours to book a test.

Online appointment booking is expected to roll out to the rest of the province by the second week of November, according to the province.

At a COVID-19 briefing Wednesday, Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said the initiative is designed to make the process of getting a test more streamlined.

"It just makes it faster. You can go in there, you don't have to wait to get a call back, you don't have to wait online for somebody. You can just make your own appointment. It's much faster and efficient," he said.

The release also notes that a COVID-19 gargle test is available for children ages four to 18 at 10 primary assessment centres and is expected to be available at all primary assessment centres by mid-November.

The centres currently offering the gargle test are:

  • Halifax, IWK Health Centre, 5850-5980 University Ave.

  • Halifax, Saint Mary's University, Homburg Centre, 920 Tower Rd.

  • Dartmouth drive thru, behind Dartmouth General Hospital, 325 Pleasant St., off Mount Hope Avenue

  • Antigonish, St. Martha's Regional Hospital, 25 Bay St.

  • Wolfville, Acadia University Club, 17 Westwood Ave.

  • Bridgewater, South Shore Assessment Centre — Gateway Plaza, 215 Dominion St.

  • Yarmouth, Visitor Information Centre, 228 Main St.

  • Pugwash, North Cumberland Memorial Hospital, 260 Gulf Shore Rd.

  • Amherst, 34 Prince Arthur St.

  • Truro, Colchester East Hants Health Centre, 600 Abenaki Rd.

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