HALIFAX, N.S. – Effective later today, Friday, May 7, Nova Scotia Public Health will begin contacting positive COVID-19 cases and close contacts by text message, when that is an option.
With case numbers increasing in Nova Scotia, this approach will allow timely notification of positive cases and close contacts so they can immediately begin self-isolation to avoid further spread.
The text message will advise people they have tested positive or have been identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19.
Text recipients will be advised to:
• Self-isolate immediately
• If you are a close contact, book a PCR test online at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en or by calling 811
• Continue to isolate – an end-of-isolation date will be provided by Public Health
• Register for the digital daily Public Health check-in service at https://covid-health-checkin.novascotia.ca
• Seek medical attention right away if they have worsening symptoms (call 811 or 911)
If someone tests positive for COVID-19, they can expect a text message from Public Health, a call from the COVID Community Virtual Care Team (for those over the age of 16), and a call from a public health nurse.
Each contact serves different purposes:
• Public Health will text to provide timely notification of the positive result with messages centered around testing positive and next steps.
• The COVID Community Virtual Care Team will call to provide patients with support for at-home treatment and recovery to avoid hospitalization whenever possible. They reinforce isolation messages and prepare clients for the Public Health investigation call as to what to expect and to start gathering their close contact lists. This team also provides a direct path for those patients in the community who require admission to hospital. The team will also register the patient for the daily Public Health digital check-in.
• A public health nurse will call the patient to gather case and contact investigation information.
For those who do not successfully receive a text (failed) or if text is not an option, Public Health will still reach out by phone. For those whose texts are received but do not register with Public Health’s digital daily check-in, Public Health will connect by phone.
It is critical that Nova Scotians answer calls that may display as coming from “unknown” numbers, or originate from different parts of the province. Please answer these calls so Public Health can provide vital COVID-19 information.
It is also important that people going for symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 testing ensure their phone numbers and email addresses are correct. This will help our Public Health team contact you quickly should your result be positive.