N.S. launches mobile testing units, starting at Kings County school with COVID-19 cases
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is now taking its COVID-19 testing on the road.
The province has launched two mobile testing units to support more COVID-19 testing in communities that need it.
The mobile units are 20-foot vans that can travel to communities around the province. They are staffed by public health team members trained in testing and investigation processes, such as public health nurses.
"Getting these mobile units up and running is another part of our enhanced testing strategy to help us detect cases as early as possible and slow the spread of COVID-19," said Premier Stephen McNeil in a news release. "Our testing strategy is about tracking, tracing and containing this virus, and I thank Nova Scotians for pulling together to support public health in this work."
On Wednesday, one of the two mobile units will be at Northeast Kings Education Centre in Canning, N.S. -- one of four schools closed in the province due to a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Northeast Kings Education Centre, located in the province’s Western zone, has been closed since Nov. 24, after a case of COVID-19 was identified at the school.
On Nov. 29, a second case was identified at the school. Nova Scotia health says the second person who tested positive was not believed to have been in school while infectious.
The province says the aim of testing in the school is to better understand transmission, given that there may be close contacts of previously identified cases at the school.
"The Nova Scotia Health Authority has done a tremendous job to get these mobile units in place in a very short period of time to better support testing in communities and I thank them for this work," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. "These mobile units are another tool in our toolbox to target our testing in places and situations where it is needed to help public health investigate and manage cases and help prevent further spread."
Public health is contacting people who should be tested for appointments. Drop-ins will not be accepted on Wednesday.
Public health says the mobile units will be deployed to specific locations based on the epidemiology needs in the province. When they are deployed, public health will work with community partners to notify people about who should get tested, when and how.