Testing and tracing

Stay informed and learn how we can work together to keep New Brunswickers safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, 
call 911 immediately.
If you think you have symptoms:

Complete the online self-assessment

Getting tested

Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.

How to register for testing

To get tested, complete an online self-assessment or contact Telecare 811 or your healthcare provider. It can take up to 48 hours for a test assessment centre to contact you to schedule an appointment.

Please note that while Telecare 811 can refer you for a test, they do not have access to the testing schedule and will not have access to your testing results.

Patients must provide their NB Medicare or other provincial/federal Health Care Number (OHIP, DND, etc.), when scheduled and/or presenting for COVID-19 testing to be able to register for a MyHealthNB account to view COVID-19 test results online.

Testing for children and youth

New Brunswick offers two options for COVID-19 testing in children and youth. Find information about the process and what to expect here.

What to do if you develop Covid Symptoms

If you have not been fully vaccinated (0 or 1 dose) for COVID-19:

  • If any COVID-19 symptoms develop, book a test, either online or by calling 811.
  • If you have 2 or more COVID-19 symptoms you must isolate while waiting for your test result.
    • It can take up to fourteen (14) days before you would test positive after being exposed to COVID-19; if your test results comes back negative, continue self-monitoring for any new  symptoms and get tested immediately if you develop new symptoms.
  • Avoid visiting settings with vulnerable populations such as nursing homes, correctional facilities, and shelters over the next 14 days.
  • Continue to follow all Public Health advice, including wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, and maintaining physical distancing in public settings.
  • Note: You can request a Covid test even if you have no symptoms.
  • If you have been advised by Public Health to isolate, you must do so regardless of vaccination status.

If you are fully vaccinated (2 doses) for COVID-19:

  • If any COVID-19 symptoms develop you should book a test, either online or by calling 811.
  • You do not need to isolate while waiting for your test results. .
  • Continue to follow all Public Health advice, including wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, and maintaining physical distancing in public settings.
  • If you have been advised by Public Health to isolate, you must do so regardless of vaccination status.

While waiting for your test

Isolate if necessary

While awaiting your testing, follow any direction you have been provided regarding isolating.

Get the federal COVID Alert App

COVID Alert helps us break the cycle of infection. The app can let people know of possible exposures before any symptoms appear. That way, we can take care of ourselves and protect our communities.

COVID-19 test results

If you were tested for COVID-19, are 16 or older, have a Canadian Health Care Number (NB Medicare or other provincial/federal card), and were provided with a Registration Sheet, you may register for a MyHealthNB account to check your own results online at myhealth.gnb.ca.

MyHealthNB allows you to print an official PDF copy of your COVID-19 test result for the purposes of travel.

Test Results for Children

Parents/Guardians may be able to access the COVID-19 test results for a child (must be under 16 and have an NB Medicare number).

If you submitted a request for a COVID-19 test and:

  • it has been more than 72 hours since you sent your request; or  
  • you have scheduled a COVID-19 test and need to change or cancel your test.  

Please inquire about your test here.

After you get tested and waiting for results

Once you’ve been tested, it can take up to four days to receive your results. Information on how to access your online results via MyHealthNB will be provided to you by the assessment centre staff when you have your test completed.

While you wait for your COVID-19 test result, make a list of places you have been and people you have encountered over the 10 days before you registered for the test. This will be important information to have available.

If your test is positive, someone from Public Health will call you to check on your health, discuss who you have been around, and ask where you spent time while you may have been able to spread the virus to others.

Even if you receive negative results, it is important to read the information given when accessing your test online.

Public Health will ask you if you are a COVID ALERT app user. If this person has the app installed on their phone Public Health will provide them with a 10-digit “key”.

The user can then choose to enter this key into the app.  When they do, all users who have who have been within 2 metres of them for more than 15 minutes during the previous 14 days 2 will receive a notification.

The notification contains no personal information: other app users never know the identity of the person they were in contact with that was recorded as an exposure, or the time, location or place of exposure.

Contact tracing

Contact tracing is an important public health tool to stop viruses like COVID-19 from spreading rapidly in communities.  It helps people get diagnosed earlier and reduces the chance of spreading the virus.

If you get sick, tell Public Health about the people you've spent time with. It's crucial to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our province

Any information you share with Public Health staff is CONFIDENTIAL. This means that your name and personal and medical information will be kept private.

How contact tracing works

  • A person has COVID-19 symptoms, takes the online self-assessment to book a test and then tests positive.
  • Public Health staff interview the positive person to identify public areas they have visited and people they’ve spent time with. These people are contacts. Public Health maintains the privacy of the positive person. Anyone who tests positive can choose to tell others about their diagnosis, but Public Health will not.  
  • Public Health gets in touch with the close contacts and asks them about symptoms of COVID-19. Close contacts with no symptoms are asked to isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days after their last contact with the case. Contacts with symptoms are sent for testing. Non-close contacts will be asked to self-monitor.
  • If a contact tests positive, Public Health will reach out to all their close contacts and restart the process.

How you can help

  • Download the COVID Alert app.
  • Keep a list of who you’ve met with and where you have been.  This can be done on your phone, in a notebook or in a calendar.
  • If you test positive, be open and honest about the people you’ve spent time with.

Testing for children

When to take your child for a test

Parents and caregivers should assess their child daily for key symptoms of illness before sending them to school or early learning childcare facility. You can use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool to determine if your child should seek testing.

Testing is available for anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms. 

How to prepare for the test

COVID-19 testing in children and youth is done by swishing and gargling sterile salt water and spitting it into a tube, or by using a swab to collect a sample from their nose. The swish and gargle test is for children ages 4 to 11 years of age. The nose swab is the recommended standard test for all New Brunswickers, however the swish and gargle is available for children who are unable to receive the nose swab. Either test will accurately detect if your child has COVID-19. Watch a video about what you and your child can expect during a COVID-19 swish and gargle test.


Practice the swish, gargle and spit technique with salty water at home before going to the collection centre. Wait at least one hour between practicing and doing the test as practicing could affect test results. Ask your child not to swallow the water or talk when they practice.

See the instructions on how to make saline at home to practice the swish/gargle method.

How to make salty water for practice

Mix ½ teaspoon (2.5mL) of salt in 1 cup of warm water to dissolve and cool to room temperature. 

Point of Care testing

Point of Care Testing (POCT) is one tool that can be used to control the spread of COVID-19. Testing can identify those carrying the virus. When cases are identified early this helps Public Health respond as those confirmed with COVID-19 and potential carriers can be isolated which helps to stop the transmission of the virus.

Point of Care Testing (POCT) refers to a patient test that is performed outside of the laboratory. POCT can be administered by qualified testing personnel, professionals, including trained individuals with no healthcare background. POCT is easy to use and can provide rapid results, however, it is not as accurate as laboratory tests.

Rapid antigen testing devices may be used to screen for COVID-19 and provide results on-site within 15 minutes. This point of care test provides quick results to identify individuals who might be more contagious (i.e. higher viral loads of COVID-19). However, it has less ability to detect the presence of COVID-19 than a lab-based PCR test (i.e. chance of false negatives or not picking up infection that is actually there). When there is not a lot of COVID-19 circulating in the population (i.e. low incidence of COVID-19) a positive result may also be false. Therefore, all positive test results must be confirmed with a laboratory PCR test.

The POCT program in New Brunswick uses the Abbott Panbio Rapid Antigen point of care test (POCT), a Class IV medical device that has been authorized for use by Health Canada.

To be approved by Health Canada, manufacturers of medical devices are required to provide information related to the quality, safety, and effectiveness of the device.

The New Brunswick Department of Health has reviewed the documentation and available evidence related to the point of care testing process, and Abbott Panbio Rapid Antigen Point of Care Testing device. Both the process and the device have been deemed safe and appropriate for serial use in workplace testing programs.


Workplace Covid 19 Point of Care Testing Program

New Brunswick’s Workplace COVID-19 Point of Care Testing program partners with organizations across the province to provide workplace rapid testing.

Every province has implemented its own POCT programs reflecting COVID-19 activity and trends in their jurisdiction.

In New Brunswick, POCT is used to minimize transmission to vulnerable populations, and to identify asymptomatic individuals.

POCT reflect a person’s status for that moment in time. It is vital that those who have a positive result on a POCT device get a lab-based PCR test at an assessment centre to confirm the results.


Less than 300 employees

If you are a small or medium size employer (less than 300 employees) and would like to participate in the New Brunswick workplace testing initiative, please reach out to the Chamber of Commerce closest to you. Any business can apply, and you do not need to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce to participate in this program.

Please reach out to one of the following for more information:

More than 300 employees

Are you a large employer with more than 300 employees?

Apply here