A pilot project to provide rapid testing for asymptomatic people and truck drivers who go across the border to and from New Brunswick for work or essential purposes will start today in Hartland.
To help combat the COVID-19 virus, rapid testing will be set up at a local pharmacy – Pharmacy for Life in Hartland – for asymptomatic residents who regularly travel across the border Only asymptomatic individuals, who can provide proof they regularly cross the border, may participate.
Individuals who travel back and forth daily for work, truck drivers, and those who must travel for medical care or to obtain veterinary services, child care and child custody are encouraged to get tested weekly for COVID-19. Weekly testing for these groups is currently not enforced as Public Health is working to ensure testing is more easily available.
It is anticipated that testing at additional pharmacies will be in place in the coming weeks, and the public will be notified at that time. Some groups are exempt from mandatory weekly testing and a list of testing and isolation requirements are available online.
“We have consulted with groups such as those in the trucking industry and have heard concerns from them regarding access,” an official said. “We want to make sure that testing is made easily available so that it does not place an unreasonable burden on people. Our goal is to increase COVID-19 safety for these individuals, their families and all New Brunswickers by detecting the virus early in the event anyone is exposed during necessary travel.”
The participating pharmacies must have a documented operational plan and follow proper infection prevention and control measures. In the rare circumstance that a person tests positive, the pharmacist will enter the client’s contact information online so that a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at the nearest assessment centre can be completed. Individuals will also be advised to continue to follow public health measures.