Testing and tracing
Stay informed and learn how we can work together to keep New Brunswickers safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
About COVID-19: Symptoms, and when to get 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.
New Brunswick offers two options for COVID-19 testing in children and youth. Find information about the process and what to expect here.
Isolate if necessary
While awaiting your testing, follow any direction you have been provided regarding self-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.
Learn more about the Federal COVID Alert App
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.
Test Results for Children
Parents/Guardians may be able to access the COVID-19 test results for a child (under 16 with an NB Medicare number). More information. PDF
MyHealthNB allows you to print an official PDF copy of your COVID-19 test result for the purposes of travel.
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.
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.
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 self-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.
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 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.
Contract tracing at businesses
Controlled venues at which seating is offered for the purposes of eating, drinking, socialization, celebration, ceremony or entertainment are required to maintain a record of the names and contact information of all persons who attend. The same applies to anyone who hosts, organizes or permits gatherings larger than 50. Keep information in a secure place and not in the public view. More information can be found in Collection of names and contact information under the Mandatory Order COVID-19.
This will enable Public Health to conduct targeted contact tracing in an expeditious manner should there be a COVID-19 case associated with the facility.
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.