On‑campus rapid testing


Regular COVID-19 testing is an important part of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and keeping one another safe. To make access to testing even more convenient for the Dal community, Dalhousie University has collaborated with Nova Scotia Public Health to launch a self-swab COVID-19 rapid screening program for faculty, staff and students across all four campuses.

There are two ways you can get tested on-campus:

To get tested on-campus, you CANNOT be:

  • Under the age of 16
  • symptomatic (cough, or two or more other symptoms)
  • required to isolate due to travel or COVID-19 exposures
  • required to test due to COVID-19 exposures
  • tested COVID-19 positive in the last 90 days

People who do not meet these requirements or are based in other Dal locations outside of Halifax and Truro should seek out testing through Nova Scotia Health.

A negative result on the rapid self test is not a guarantee. You could still develop or be exposed to COVID-19 in the coming days. Rapid testing does not replace the need for following the public health protocols (maintaining physical distance of 6 feet/2 metres, wearing masks, washing hands, etc.), nor does it replace the need for vaccination. Testing complements all other public health measures.  


Pick up a take-away test kit to complete on your own

A take-away test kit is a rapid test you can take and complete on your own time. Each test kit bag now contains two test kits — individuals are able to take one bag per week. Test kit bags be picked up at the following locations:

Test kit supplies at some locations may be limited based on high demand, but we're working hard on keeping all locations stocked as more supply is provided by Public Health. Due to limited supplies, an individual can only pick up one bag (containing two tests) each week.

Complete your test at one of our two testing sites


Halifax campuses

Location: Macdonald Building, University Hall, third floor
Days of operation: Monday to Friday
Hours: 12-4 p.m

NOTE: The testing centre will be opening at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 29.

Truro campus

Location: Dal AC Health Services - Dairy Building
Days of operation:
Tuesdays and Thursdays
Hours:
3-4 p.m.

Testing is available by walk-in. No appointment is necessary.  

Volunteers needed

Come help us with on-campus testing! No experience necessary. Fill out your contact info here and you'll be directed to the volunteer schedule to sign up for a shift.

Who can get tested?

The Dalhousie testing clinics and take-home test kits are available to students, faculty, staff and campus subcontractors.

Those being tested also need to meet all the following requirements:

You CANNOT be:

  • Under the age of 16
  • symptomatic (cough, or two or more other symptoms)
  • required to isolate due to travel or COVID-19 exposures
  • required to test due to COVID-19 exposures
  • tested COVID-19 positive in the last 90 days

People who do not meet these requirements or are based in other Dal locations outside of Halifax and Truro should seek out testing through Nova Scotia Health.

In a self-swab model at our clinics, faculty, staff and students will take their own sample and the process will be instructed and observed by a trained swabber. The swabber will wear mask, gloves and face shield and the participant takes their own sample and puts it into the collection tube. Participants will receive their test results by text message or phone call in about 30-40 minutes. NS Health will provide access to a software system that assigns a random code to each test, so confidentiality is maintained. Negative results are sent automatically from the same software system. If you test positive you will also receive a phone call.

How does the self-swab test work?

In a self-swab model, faculty, staff and students will take their own sample.

At our clinics, the process will be instructed and observed by a trained swabber. The swabber will wear mask, a gown, gloves and face shield and the participant takes their own sample and puts it into the collection tube. Participants will receive their test results by text message or phone call in about 30-40 minutes. NS Health provides access to a software system that assigns a random code to each test, so confidentiality is maintained. Negative results are sent automatically from the same software system. If you test positive, you will also receive a phone call.

For take-away test kits, you review the results yourself after about 15 minutes. Two sets of instructions are available with our take-away kits. The first explains how to perform the test, and the second reviews Dal's program and what to do if you are positive.

View instructions for completing the test [PDF] or watch the video below:

What do I do if I test positive?

If your Dal-provided rapid test indicates a positive result:

  1. Confirm the result by booking a PCR test as soon as possible by completing the online assessment or calling 811. Please tell the PCR test provider that you have tested positive with a self-test)
  2. Confidentially notify Dalhousie of your test result. This notification will give your PCR test priority processing and will allow us to report test numbers to the province.
    • Students: Call Dalhousie Health & Wellness at 902-494-2133
    • Staff/faculty: Call or email Accessible Employment at 902-219-1599 or accessible.employment@dal.ca
  3. Go home immediately and self-isolate until you receive your confirmatory test result.
  4. You need to receive a negative result from a confirmatory test at a primary assessment centre before returning to work/classes.

If I have COVID symptoms, should I still do a rapid test?

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms it's important to go online and complete the Nova Scotia self-assessment as to whether you need a PCR (lab test) or not. Cough, fever, headache, runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing are all symptoms of COVID-19.

What is the difference between rapid tests and PCR (lab) tests?

Dalhousie's on-campus testing uses rapid tests. It is available to Dalhousie staff, students, faculty and subcontractors who ARE NOT:

  • Under the age of 16
  • symptomatic (cough, or two or more other symptoms)
  • required to isolate due to travel or COVID-19 exposures
  • required to test due to COVID-19 exposures
  • tested COVID-19 positive in the last 90 days

In addition to campus, rapid tests are available at pop-up sites organized by the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

PCR (or lab tests) are required if you have COVID symptoms, have travelled, have visited a potential exposure location or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. You can complete the Nova Scotia self-assessment to determine if you require a PCR test.

Both rapid tests and PCR tests are accepted for Dalhousie's Campus Check requirements.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Project Lead at: dalcovid@dal.ca.