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Have COVID? Nova Scotia Health wants you to report it online

Those filling out the form will be assessed for potential COVID-19 treatments
(stock photo)

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and qualify for a PCR test, or your rapid test results are positive, Nova Scotia Health wants you to report it online.

Filling out the Report & Support screening form will help public health officials flag those who are at high-risk of severe illness and hospitalization so they can be assessed for potential treatments.

And timing is important as medications can only be administered within the first week of symptoms developing.

"Not everyone benefits from prescribed COVID medication," explained infectious disease specialist, Dr. Lisa Barrett, in a news release. "These treatments aren't for most people who get COVID-19 -- it's for a very specific group who are at a higher risk of serious illness and meet other criteria."

"There is also a very small window of opportunity for the medications to be effective. That's why it's critical when Nova Scotians are booking their test that they fill out the Report and Support form right away. That way, if they test positive with a PCR we know almost immediately if they may be eligible and can follow-up with them."

Anyone who finds out they have COVID by taking a rapid test is also asked to fill out the form.

"We are finding a lot of people are testing positive on a rapid test at home, and not completing the form. This has meant people aren't getting access to treatment that could help them," said Barrett. 

"Filling in the form is a great way to help us, help you. Without that form, we can't assess people for treatment. Please fill in the form -- it is short, and the questions are only about you and your health so you will know the answers!"

Nova Scotia Health says not everyone with a risk factor will qualify for COVID-19 treatment. Those who do qualify will receive a phone call. If there's no call, health officials have determined treatment will not be beneficial.

Those who don't have internet access can call 1-833-797-7772 and someone will help them.

Anyone with symptoms should take the online assessment, which will tell them if they have to book an appointment for a PCR test or to pick up a rapid test kit. This can also be done by calling 811.

Nova Scotians can also plan ahead by picking up a rapid test kit at most public libraries, MLA offices, family resource centres, COVID-19 testing centres and Public Health Mobile Units.

Nova Scotia Health says those with even mild symptoms of COVID-19 should complete the following steps:
Step 1: Book a COVID-19 test (PCR or rapid), or take a rapid test at home.
Step 2: If your test is positive, complete the Report and Support screening form.
Step 3: If you get a phone call from an unknown number within a few days of completing your Report and Support form, answer it. It may be one of our treatment team prescribers calling to talk to you.

Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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