COVID-19 testing

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


Getting tested in New Brunswick

If you have one or more symptoms, you must isolate and register for a COVID-19 test. All testing is reserved for symptomatic people or people who live or work in specific settings.

You are permitted to leave isolation to get a PCR test or to pick up your POCT test kits.

To help determine what type of test you need please click on the link below and complete the online form, this will tell you if you need a PCR lab-based test, a POCT rapid test or if no testing is required right now.

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


Rapid Point of Care Testing (POCT)

Point of Care Testing (POCT) refers to a patient test that is performed outside of the laboratory. Rapid antigen testing devices are Point of Care Tests that can be used to screen for COVID-19 and provide results on-site within 15 minutes. 


I tested positive with a rapid POCT, what should I do?

Register your positive result online to help us understand the level of circulating illness.

A positive POCT is now considered a positive case of COVID-19. If you have a positive rapid POCT continue to isolate and follow the online instructions for those who test positive.

If you have tested positive with a rapid POCT, no further testing is needed.  You will continue to test positive for up to 90 days, even though you may no longer be infectious.  Therefore, do not keep testing until you get a negative result.

If you have access to rapid POCT, please share with those who need them. Rapid tests don’t protect anyone when stored on a shelf at home.

To protect our supply of POCT, please only use them if you have symptoms of COVID-19.


What to do if you have COVID-19

A positive test result means you have COVID-19


About at-home COVID-19 Rapid Point of Care tests

A rapid POCT is an antigen test to screen for COVID-19 that can be done at home by someone who is not a healthcare professional. Within 15 minutes, it can help to identify if a person’s sample contains COVID-19.

If have COVID-19 symptoms, are between the ages of 2 and 50 and are otherwise healthy, you should register online to get your POCT test kit. If you have a positive test, you need to report it online. Do not test again. If you have a negative rapid POCT test and your symptoms worsen or new symptoms develop, test again.

The POCT program in New Brunswick uses rapid antigen testing devices that have been authorized for use by Health Canada.  To be approved by Health Canada, manufacturers of testing devices are required to provide information related to the quality, safety, and effectiveness of the device.


PCR testing through assessment centres

A PCR test is conducted by a health professional at an assessment centre.

You are eligible for a PCR test if you are symptomatic and you:

  • Are over 50 or are under 2 (24 months)
  • Live /work in a hospital, long-term care facility, correctional facility, shelter or is precariously housed;
  • Are immunocompromised
  • Are pregnant

After you get tested

Once you’ve been tested at an assessment centre, 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.

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.


What to do if you have COVID-19

A positive test result means you have COVID-19



PCR Testing for children

When to take your child for a PCR test

PCR tests will now only be used for children under the age two, and those who are a member of  a priority group identified by Public Health.

The nose swab is the recommended standard test for all New Brunswickers, however the swish and gargle is available for children 4-11 years of age who are unable to receive the nose swab. Either test will accurately detect if your child has COVID-19.

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.

How to prepare for the test

A PCR test for COVID-19 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. Watch a video about what you and your child can expect during a COVID-19 swish and gargle test.

Practice

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. 


PCR 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).