Nova Scotia

N.S. to resume offering PCR tests to confirm COVID-19 rapid test results

Nova Scotia's health authority announced Thursday it is resuming confirmation PCR testing for those who test positive on a rapid antigen test, saying its microbiology lab now has the capacity to resume the service thanks to a continued decline in COVID-19 cases.

Confirmation testing was paused in December due to high demand during Omicron wave

Nova Scotia Health says it now has the capacity to resume confirmation PCR testing. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Nova Scotians who test positive for COVID-19 using a rapid test can once again confirm their results with a lab-based PCR test.

Nova Scotia's health authority announced Thursday it is resuming confirmation PCR testing for those who test positive on a rapid antigen test, saying its microbiology lab now has the capacity to resume the service thanks to a continued decline in COVID-19 cases in the province.

Confirmation testing was paused in December as the Omicron wave put significant strain on the province's testing capacity.

People who test positive on a rapid test can choose to either isolate for seven days or get a confirmation PCR test. If the confirmation test is negative, no isolation is required. 

"The added option to have a positive rapid test confirmed with a PCR test will reduce situations in which people are isolating when they don't need to," the health authority said in a news release.

The release also noted that this change will likely lead to a higher number of reported cases, as case numbers are based on positive PCR tests, not rapid tests. 

If you test positive for COVID-19 on a rapid test and want to confirm your result with a PCR test, you can complete the online assessment form or call 811.

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