**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
No New Cases of COVID-19
As of today, Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has two active cases of COVID-19. No new cases were identified Wednesday, Sept. 30.
Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 977 Nova Scotia tests on Sept. 30.
To date, Nova Scotia has 95,244 negative test results, 1,088 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 http://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)
Two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):
— sore throat
— runny nose/ nasal congestion
— 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.
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 Oct. 4
Faster COVID-19 Testing for Nova Scotians
Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, announced today, Oct. 1, that improvements are being made to ensure Nova Scotians with symptoms of COVID-19 get tested faster.
“With school resuming and other parts of Canada seeing a second wave of COVID-19, we are increasing our capacity to test people with symptoms more quickly to make sure we detect and manage cases,” said Premier McNeil. “Our first step is a new online COVID-19 self-assessment tool, which will dramatically reduce the wait time for screening.”
As of today, instead of calling 811 as a first step, people can now do a COVID-19 self-assessment online. This will reduce the wait time to be screened for testing from 12 hours to about 10 minutes. If the online assessment determines that a person requires a test, the Nova Scotia Health Authority or the IWK Health Centre will call them within 24 to 48 hours to book an appointment.
811 will continue to take calls from people who cannot access the online tool or who wish to speak with a nurse about their symptoms.
“It is reasonable to expect a resurgence of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia and the improvements we’re making in our testing process will help us be prepared for it,” said Dr. Strang. “We can minimize any resurgence by continuing to follow all the public health measures to keep COVID-19 out of our communities as much as possible.”
— 811 has received an average of 1,467 calls per day and served an average of 1,024 patients per day since the beginning of September
— there are 26 primary assessment centres around the province: http://www.nshealth.ca/coronavirus-assessment
— the COVID-19 self-assessment is at http://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/