If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms,
call 911 immediately.
Get a PCR test if any of the following statements apply:
- I have one or more symptoms of COVID-19.
- I have been contacted by Public Health as a close contact of confirmed case.
- I need a COVID-19 test for travel purposes.
- I tested positive using a rapid test.
Pick up a rapid point of care test if any of the following apply:
- I have no symptoms of COVID-19 and I have not been advised by Public Health to isolate.
- I was at a public exposure site within the last 14 days.
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.
Point of Care Testing (POCT) refers to a patient test that is performed outside of the laboratory. POCT is easy to use and can provide rapid results and identify those carrying the COVID-19 virus. However, it is not as accurate as laboratory PCR tests.
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. All positive point of care test results must be confirmed with a laboratory PCR test.
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.
The New Brunswick Department of Health has reviewed the documentation and available evidence related to the point of care testing process. Both the process and the Rapid antigen testing devices have been deemed safe and appropriate for serial use in at-home and workplace testing programs.
At-Home COVID-19 Rapid Point of Care Test Screening Program
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.
While rapid POCT is easy to use and gives results rapidly, it is not as accurate as traditional lab-based PCR testing, used to diagnose COVID-19. Only a COVID-19 PCR test is considered a diagnostic test.
Get a rapid point-of-care test:
If you have been advised by Public Health to isolate, you must do so regardless of vaccination status even if you have tested negative at home with a Rapid POCT COVID-19 screening test.
Isolate if necessary
While awaiting your testing, follow any direction you have been provided regarding isolating.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When to take your child for a PCR test
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.
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
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. 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.
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).