Dr. Strang encourages NSians to get tested regularly for COVID-19

Dr. Robert Strang, the chief medical officer of health for N.S. (Communications N.S. Photo)

HALIFAX: The province’s top doctor said he is concerned with low testing numbers as of late for COVID-19 pop-up testing and is encouraging n Nova Scotians to get out and get swabbed.

Dr. Robert Strang was answering a question from The Laker News posed during the May 25 briefing, held a day after Victoria Day as Nova Scotians celebrated their second May long weekend in lockdown due to the deadly virus.

He was asked “With the testing numbers down, is there anything more the province can do to encourage NSians to get out and tested frequently? Is this concerning to see the test numbers down?”

Here is video from the May 25 briefing where we asked about the low testing. It begins at the start.

Video edited by Dagley Media

Dr. Robert Strang speaks at the May 25 COVID-19 briefing. (Communications N.S. Photo)

Dr. Strang said typically Sundays are their lowest day for testing, especially on a long weekend. This past Sunday, May 23, they had just below 4,000 people get tested.

“It’s really important so we need Nova Scotians to continue to get tested,” said Dr. Strang, who calls Fall River home.

“We have lots of access to testing.

“Whether its through our Primary Access Centre (PAC) that are all across N.S., if people have symptoms or one of the groups identified as a close contact or a group that is required to get tested like a traveller then they can book and go to the PAC for a PCR test.”

While the daily case numbers have dropped in recent days, so has the number of people testing which could result in more people unknowingly carrying COVID-19 and spreading it to others.

N.S. Health issued a release also encouraging residents get out and get their nose tickled at one of the many popup or rapid testing sites in the province.

“A significant number of appointments at primary assessment centres remained unfilled across the province during the past few days,” said the release. “Getting tested regularly is quick and easy and one of the ways to live safely with COVID-19 and protect your community.”

To book an appointment, visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en or call 811.

In addition to booking an appointment, Nova Scotians are able to get tested at a rapid testing location.

Locations change frequently, so continue to check the Nova Scotia Health Coronavirus testing website and social media for the latest information. It’s important to note that a negative result on the rapid test is not a guarantee. You could still develop or be exposed to COVID-19 in the coming days.

“As such, it’s important to continue to protect yourself and others by continuing to wear a mask, washing your hands, maintaining social/physical distance, and sticking to a small social bubble,” said NSH in the release.

Dr. Strang said if people have no COVID-19-like symptoms they are suggesting they get tested on a regular basis.

“We’re still encouraging everybody to get tested on a regular basis,” he said. “The more contacts you have in your life, whether its mostly through work now, the more frequently you should get tested.

“We have a lot of access to asymptomatic testing at the PAC’s and the pop-up sites we’re doing. We’re hopeful this week that we’ll see a push on the testing again. We have lots of capacity in our lab that we can use.”