COVID-19 rapid testing helped crush the third wave

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Nova Scotians have been doing their part to keep themselves, their families, and communities safe from COVID-19. This includes rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated, social distancing, hand washing, masking— and getting tested.

As we enter this next phase of reopening, and with the lingering threat of a Delta variant-driven fourth wave, COVID-19 rapid testing remains important.

A critical part of our success in limiting the size and duration of the third wave was an aggressive testing strategy, which included rapid testing locations from Yarmouth to Sydney.

As of today, there are only two rapid testing locations in the province. Those locations will end with the start of Phase 5.

Nova Scotia was recognized as a national leader in rapid testing. Pop-up sites across the province allowed easy access to results within an hour, giving Nova Scotians and visitors peace of mind as they traveled the province and supported local businesses.

The strategy worked. Rapid testing identified approximately 20 per cent of COVID-19 cases during the third wave, allowing us to quickly identify and contain new cases and close contacts.

We’re all eager to get back to some sense of normal, but that can’t come at the expense of safety.

We need to get this right. I urge the government to maintain rapid testing options across the province as we wait for the vaccine passport to take effect on Oct. 4th.

We need to continue to lead by example in the fight against COVID-19.