Starting today, December 13, Nova Scotians can pick up COVID-19 rapid test kits at public libraries across the province.

“While we stopped recommending general asymptomatic testing a while ago, we recognize it’s another way to keep gatherings safe over the holidays so we’re making rapid tests more widely available for the season,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia. “Doing a rapid test can add an extra layer of protection if you’re hosting or attending gatherings. Everyone should also get vaccinated, avoid travel, keep your social circle small, wear a mask where required or if you’re in close contact with people outside your circle, and stay home if you’re sick.”

There are 400,000 tests available. They are packaged in kits of five, and there is a limit of one kit per person. The tests can be used at home for people ages three and up. Anyone who has a positive result needs to self-isolate and book a lab-based PCR test at a testing site to confirm the result.

People can continue to get rapid test kits from pop-up sites and mobile units that are serving communities with higher case numbers. Locations and details are available at

Incoming travellers can get rapid test kits at the Halifax and Sydney airports. Domestic travellers who are not fully vaccinated can get a take-home PCR test to use as the first of two tests required to stop isolating after seven days.

About 2,000 businesses and organizations around the province are providing rapid tests for employees through the employer screening program. They support public health’s surveillance efforts. They have permission to give tests to their employees’ families for the holiday season.

Rapid test kits are being distributed for children ages three to 11 through public and private schools, licensed and unlicensed child-care centres, and family resource centres. Families should use these tests if:

  • the child has symptoms of COVID-19, and it is difficult to get to a testing site
  • a child only has one mild symptom, so a lab-based PCR test isn’t necessary, and the family is comfortable doing a shallow nose swab.

Other people who have symptoms should book a PCR test at a testing site. People should also book tests if they travelled, may have been exposed or were directed to get tested for certain reasons. Tests can be booked at<br clear=’all’/> Additional Resources: Nova Scotia public library locations:

For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit:

Guidance for safe holiday gatherings:

Information about the workplace screening program:

Government of Canada: or 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)


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