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COVID-19 rapid tests are again available at Halifax Public Libraries

The federal government has supplied Nova Scotia with more than three million new tests

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Test kits include four to five rapid tests and instructions.
caption Nova Scotia is resuming community distribution of free rapid antitgen test kits now that more tests are available.

Haligonians can once again get free rapid test kits through Halifax Public Libraries. 

In late December, Nova Scotia restricted the distribution of rapid tests. Tests were only available for pick up by appointment for people who went through the province’s COVID-19 online assessment tool.

In a news release on Monday, the Nova Scotia health Authority said it’s working to make rapid tests more accessible now that more kits are available.

Anyone can visit a public library and pick up a rapid test kit on a first come, first served basis during scheduled distribution times.

The federal government committed to providing 3.6 million rapid tests to Nova Scotia in January. The province has received 3.1 million to date and the rest are expected within two weeks, said Marla MacInnis, who speaks for the Department of Health and Wellness. 

The Halifax Central and Alderney Gate libraries are hosting pop-up rapid testing sites where test kits will also be distributed. Pop-up sites are available to all ages and no screening or assessment is required.

There are no numbers to report on the distribution of tests so far according to Leah Pohlman, a manager for the Halifax Public Libraries. But she said people are happy they are once again available.

“We’re really excited that the province reached out to us and we’re able to support this again,” Pohlman said. 

“This is just another way that we can keep our community safe.”

Pohlman said each kit contains between four and five tests and instructions. She said the tests may look different each week depending on the supply and brand. 

Test kits can also be picked up at family resource centres, schools and pop-up testing sites. 

“Beyond our community distribution, students and staff of public, private and First Nations schools are getting an additional supply of rapid tests for the month of February,” MacInnis wrote in an email. 

The kits are limited to one per person.

In Monday’s news release, the health authority said now that tests are being distributed in the community again, they will no longer be available at the Halifax airport. Travellers had the option of taking a rapid test on arrival. However, airports will continue to distribute PCR tests for domestic travellers who aren’t fully vaccinated. 

Most people shouldn’t be using rapid tests regularly just to feel safe, the province says. It only recommends testing for those with symptoms or who are close contacts of people who tested positive for COVID-19. 


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Maryanne McLarty

Maryanne McLarty is a Halifax-based journalist from Oakville, Ontario. Her interests include listening to true crime podcasts and baking. She...

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