On Sunday, Public Health opened another pop-up clinic in Halifax to monitor for COVID-19 cases after the holiday break. Following a day when 13 cases were announced in the province, the flow of people showing up to the clinic for a rapid test was steady.
"COVID is here," said Ariel Harper Nave, who attended the clinic at the Citadel Community Centre. "It's a fact of our lives at the moment, and we just have to work with it."
Nave says she got her first COVID-19 test for peace of mind, with the pros outweighing the cons.
"It was momentarily uncomfortable," said Nave. "But, you know, I suspect a respirator would be a lot more uncomfortable."
The target demographic for Sunday's pop-up clinic was people over 16 without COVID-19 symptoms who haven't been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or been outside Atlantic Canada in the past 14 days.
On Saturday, the province announced 13 new cases of the virus – accounting for Friday and Saturday. Five of the cases were connected to Churchill Academy in Dartmouth. According to the most recent numbers, Nova Scotia has 27 active cases of COVID-19.
"The big thing, from my perspective, is that people understand that they can be infected without any symptoms," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Lisa Barrett, who was present at the clinic on Sunday. "They can be infected if they don't know of any contacts."
With the province set to loosen restrictions on Monday, monitoring for the spread of the virus following the holidays is crucial.
"Get out and think of testing as part of your normal and regular life as we start to go back to bars and restaurants tomorrow," said Dr. Barrett.
As testing ramps up, staff and volunteers are being trained to perform swabs and process the samples.
"We're always happy for more people to come in and do their part and help out within the community and get trained to do whatever," said swabbing trainer Jake Hatchette.
Meanwhile, anyone seeking to volunteer in the testing clinics is asked to contact Nova Scotia Public Health.