One New Case of COVID-19 / Easing of Long-Term Care Restrictions

The Covid Chronicle

**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release

One New Case of COVID-19
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As of today, Sept. 22, Nova Scotia has one active case of COVID-19. One new case was identified Monday, Sept. 21.

The new case is in Western Zone and is related to travel outside of Canada. The case is currently under investigation by Public Health.

Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 681 Nova Scotia tests on Sept. 21.

To date, Nova Scotia has 88,459 negative test results, 1,087 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths. One person is currently hospitalized in ICU. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. One thousand and twenty-one 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.

Visit https://811.novascotia.ca to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had, or you are currently experiencing:
— fever (i.e. chills/sweats) or cough (new or worsening)

Or:
Two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):
— sore throat
— runny nose/ nasal congestion
— headache
— shortness of breath

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.

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Easing of Long-Term Care Restrictions
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Further easing of restrictions in long-term care will allow residents to enjoy off-site day visits with family in their homes.

“Residents and their families want more opportunities to connect in ways they could prior to this pandemic and we appreciate their patience while we’ve taken a careful, phased approach to easing restrictions,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “It’s my hope that getting out with family will bring a much-needed sense of normalcy for residents of long-term care.”

Other details include:
— off-site visits must be pre-arranged with the facility, which will maintain a record of trips
— residents will not be required to self-isolate upon return as long as they follow key public health measures like wearing a medical mask (provided by the facility) when required, maintaining physical distance, respecting gathering limits, washing their hands frequently, and ensuring the environment they’re in is clean
— the person accompanying the resident must be screened, showing no symptoms of COVID-19, and agree to follow all public health measures
— those who have close contact with the resident during the visit (less than 2 metres or 6 feet), including the person accompanying the resident, must wear a non-medical mask
— the resident must not come into contact with someone who is required to self-isolate
— overnight visits or visits outside the Atlantic bubble are not permitted
— upon return to the facility, staff will review the outing with the resident and support person

Individual long-term care homes will work to implement these changes as early as Sept. 28, while considering the unique situations of residents and caregivers.

Community visitation supports a recommendation of the independent review of the COVID-19 outbreak at Northwood’s Halifax campus.

Quick Facts:
— there are 133 licensed long-term care facilities in Nova Scotia
— testing numbers are updated daily at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
— a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22 and extended to Oct. 4

Additional Resources:
Government of Canada: https://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)

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