**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
One New Case of COVID-19
As of today, Aug. 14, Nova Scotia has one active case of COVID-19. One new case was identified on Thursday, Aug. 13.
The new case is in the Northern Zone and is currently under investigation by public health.
The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab completed 582 Nova Scotia tests on Aug. 13 and is operating 24-hours.
To date, Nova Scotia has 67,712 negative test results, 1,072 positive COVID-19 cases and 64 deaths. There is currently no one in hospital as a result of COVID-19. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. One thousand and seven cases are now resolved. Cases have been identified in all parts of the province. Cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated in Panorama.
If you have any one of the following symptoms, visit http://811.novascotia.ca to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment:
— fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
— cough or worsening of a previous cough
— sore throat
— shortness of breath
— muscle aches
— nasal congestion/runny nose
— hoarse voice
— unusual fatigue
— loss of sense of smell or taste
— red, purple or blueish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause
When a new case of COVID-19 is confirmed, public health works to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with that person. Those individuals who have been confirmed are being directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.
Anyone who has travelled outside of Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. As always, any Nova Scotian who develops symptoms of acute respiratory illness should limit their contact with others until they feel better.
It remains important for Nova Scotians to strictly adhere to the public health order and directives – practise good hand washing and other hygiene steps, maintain a physical distance when and where required. Wearing a non-medical mask is mandatory in most indoor public places.
As of July 3, interprovincial travel within Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, without the requirement to self-isolate for permanent Atlantic Canadian residents, is permitted. All public health directives of each province must be followed. Under Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act order, visitors from other Canadian provinces and territories must self-isolate for 14 days. Other visitors from outside the Atlantic provinces who have self-isolated for 14 days in another Atlantic province may travel to Nova Scotia without self-isolating again.
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .
Businesses and other organizations can find information to help them safely reopen at http://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia .
— testing numbers are updated daily at http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
— a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22 and extended to Aug. 23
Government of Canada: http://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)
The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)
Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)
For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)
EDUCATION/EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT/COVID-19–Mandatory Masks in School
Nova Scotia’s back to school plan will be updated to mandate non-medical mask use for students in grades 4 to 12 while in school.
“The decision to require masks for grades 4 and up in our schools is in line with recent evidence and guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer. “Along with all the other public health measures, masks will help protect our school communities from COVID-19.”
All students in grades 4 to 12 will be required to wear a mask inside schools except if they are seated at their desks while two metres apart and facing in the same direction. They must also be worn in hallways and other common areas if a two-metre distance cannot be maintained.
“Our goal, first and foremost, is student and staff safety. We developed our plan to be flexible, to best support the return to school for children, students and staff,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “This change is in line with new federal recommendations around mask wearing and what we know about their effectiveness to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially when wearing masks.”
Additional measures and information for families ahead of September include:
— school-by-school ventilation maintenance will take place to ensure equipment is operating properly and in good condition and that windows can be opened
— masks and hand sanitizers are starting to arrive at schools. All students and staff will receive two free cloth masks. Disposable masks will also be available if a student forgets or loses their mask during the school day
— Regional Centres for Education and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, will continue to communicate with families. Principals will also reach out to families with specific information about their school closer to September
— before and after school programs will be offered in accordance with public health guidelines
— schools, with the support of public health, will notify families as soon as they become aware of a COVID-19 case in their school, along with what measures will need to be taken.
— a return to school sport schedule and protocols that follow public health guidelines are in the final stage of development with Sports Nova Scotia and will be sent to schools by the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation
— resources for families and students are currently available at http://novascotia.ca/backtoschool with more to be added.
— Nova Scotia is distributing 310,000 non-medical masks to Regional Centres for Education and Conseil scolaire acadien provincial for students, teachers and staff