Nova Scotia Health has a COVID-19 mobile testing unit up and running in the community of Beaver Bank this weekend.
The site was set up in response to a newly identified COVID-19 case at Beaver Bank-Monarch Drive Elementary School.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, confirmed this week that the case has an unknown source which is a cause for concern for the province and why they’re encouraging everyone to get tested.
“I want to remind people that even if you have a single symptom, or just generally feel mildly unwell, you need to get tested,” said Strang at a COVID-19 update on Friday.
“Many of the recent cases of COVID-19 we are seeing in Nova Scotia are presenting as mild, cold-like symptoms.”
The mobile units are designed to complete drop-in or pre-booked testing and have been one of the tools Nova Scotia has deployed since December as it works to cut off any spread of the coronavirus.
“Expanding our testing… will be an important part of our assessment of trying to determine if there is any undetected spread of COVID within those communities,” said Strang.
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It was a sentiment echoed by Amber Walker, a manager with the public health mobile unit, who spoke with Global News on Saturday.
“It was really about trying to be able to bring the gold standard of testing — which is the PCR test — to the communities where people are, reaching them where they live, work and play,” Walker said.
“Just to try to provide more access to testing as part of our (COVID-19) response to rural communities, remote areas, and help reduce the barriers to people trying to get testing.”
The mobile units have been busy with Walker saying they’ve done anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 COVID-19 tests across the province.
Although mobile testing is only one component of the province’s testing scheme, Walker says, it is important.
“This is really great to play a part in this broader project work and really try and keep the discussions engaged … about what they can do to help keep themselves and their community members and neighbors safe,” she said.
The mobile testing unit will operate at Beaver Bank-Kinsac Community Centre at 1583 Beaver Bank Rd., on Saturday, Feb. 20 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Pop-up rapid COVID-19 testing will also be held at the New Minas Fire Department this weekend.
Nova Scotia recommends visiting the province’s website to do a self-assessment if, in the past 48 hours, individuals have had or are currently experiencing:
Or two or more of the following symptoms:
- sore throat
- runny nose/nasal congestion
- shortness of breath
With files from Global News’ Karla Renic
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.