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 of the following symptoms: fever, or loss of sense of taste or smell;

    or

  • TWO of the following symptoms: a new cough or worsening chronic cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny nose, headache, diarrhea, new onset of fatigue or purple markings on the fingers and toes of children

All testing is reserved for symptomatic people or for indviduals working in specific settings such as a hospital, Extra Mural and Ambulance New Brunswick (EM/ANB), long-term care facility, correctional facility or shelter or if you are a person who is precariously housed or for individuals requiring a PCR test for international travel.

To help determine whether you need to be tested for COVID-19 and what type of test you need, please click on the Get a Test link below to find if you should:

  • Schedule an in-person PCR lab-based test

     or

  • Pick-up an at-home Rapid POCT

     or

  • If no testing is required right now

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


PCR testing through assessment centres

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

PCR tests are available if you:

  • Are over 50 or are under 2 (24 months)
  • Live or work in a hospital, Extra Mural and Ambulance New Brunswick (EM/ANB), long-term care facility, correctional facility or shelter or if you are a person who is precariously housed;
  • Are immunocompromised
  • Are pregnant

If you are eligible to get a PCR test, please do so. People with COVID-19 who are at high risk of serious illness may be able to access an anti-viral treatment (Paxlovid). You must have a positive PCR test within 5 days of symptom onset to be eligible for the anti-viral treatment, get tested without delay.
 

While awaiting your test and result, you are encouraged to stay home if you have symptoms.

 

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.

You are encouraged to stay home while you have symptoms.

 

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



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. 


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 you are over age 2 and have COVID-19 symptoms you can register online to get your POCT test kit. If you have a positive test, you should report it online. Do not 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.

At-home Rapid POCT may not qualify as a test for travel purposes. Please refer to the Travel page for more information.


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 rapid POCT result is a positive case of COVID-19. If you have a positive rapid POCT, follow the online instructions for those who test positive.

If you have tested positive with a rapid POCT, no further testing is needed. You may continue to test positive therefore, do not keep testing until you get a negative result.

If you have a negative rapid POCT test and your symptoms worsen or new symptoms develop, test again. 


What to do if you have COVID-19

A positive at-home rapid POCT 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).

Retesting if you previously tested positive for COVID-19

If you have had COVID-19 and develop new or worsening symptoms you should get tested again.  

  • If more than 90 days have passed since your positive COVID-19 result, get tested.
  • If 30 to 90 days have passed since your positive COVID-19 result, you should take an at-home rapid POCT test.
    • If your test is negative, and your symptoms worsen  repeat your POCT test.
    • If you test positive, then it is considered a new infection.
  • Less than 30 days since your positive COVID-19 result, no additional COVID-19 testing is required.

The above advice is for the general public and is not meant to replace guidance for people who live or work in a hospital, Extra Mural and Ambulance New Brunswick (EM/ANB), long-term care facility, correctional facility or shelter, or people who are precariously housed.