Nova Scotia Health has partnered with PRAXES Medical Group in order to provide COVID-19 testing for those who require proof that they don’t have the virus for work or travel reasons.
The initiative will start Oct. 15, and a test costs $250 plus HST.
Like many regions in the country, testing in Nova Scotia isn’t currently encouraged for those who don’t have symptoms.
“This has been an ongoing issue really for seven months,” said Premier Stephen McNeil on Thursday. “We’re confident that we have capacity now within our testing ability, so that we’re now reaching out to those who want to have a test here.”
McNeil said that people were accessing private labs to get tests before, and that the partnership with PRAXES reduces the cost they’ll face. He noted that some people need a test because they’ll be teaching abroad, “so it was important that we made that available to them.”
Testing will be provided in these situations, according to a Nova Scotia Health press release:
Urgent, work-related travel that requires a negative COVID-19 test before departure.
Students or migrant workers who require a negative COVID-19 test before returning to their home countries.
Travel to visit a vulnerable, ill or elderly relative, attend a funeral or for other events on compassionate grounds when required by other provinces or countries.
Testing won’t be provided for non-essential travel or business related purposes, such as vacations and business travel when virtual meetings are an option. Test results will be available within 36 to 60 hours, depending on the number of tests being processed by Nova Scotia Health’s laboratory.
According to a Nova Scotia Health spokesperson, who spoke with Yahoo News Canada, the province currently does not offer testing to people who are not showing symptoms. Those who do have COVID-19 symptoms are offered a test for free.
Previously, if an asymptomatic Canadian resident needed a test in Nova Scotia, they would be charged just under $400. If they were not a Canadian, they would be charged just over $1000.
On Thursday, the province also announced that it’s made the COVID Alert app available for Nova Scotians. The app helps with contact tracing efforts by sending COVID-19 exposure alerts directly to someone’s smartphone when applicable.
Test results will be available within 36 to 60 hours, depending on the number of tests being processed by Nova Scotia Health’s laboratory.