**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
Coronavirus Preparations Well Underway
*** There are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nova Scotia at this time. ***
Nova Scotia’s health-care system is actively monitoring and testing for potential cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Health officials provided an update on the preparations underway across the health system as the number of cases in Canada continues to increase. To date, there have been no cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia and the risk to Nova Scotians remains low at this time.
“We have well-established plans in place and, as with H1N1, we are actively engaged and working with our partners so we can adapt our response as the situation with the virus evolves,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health. “Although it may seem overly simple, good hygiene remains the best defence against respiratory viruses, such as COVID-19.”
The work underway includes:
— implementing a patient screening process for use by frontline health-care workers
— monitoring and investigating potential cases
— applying effective public health and infection control measures
— establishing working groups focused on disease surveillance, health system impact monitoring, models of care, supplies and resource management
— working with Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office and other non-health partners on business continuity planning
— sharing accurate, up-to-date information with our partners and Nova Scotians
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/ .
— in December 2019, cases of pneumonia were reported in Wuhan, China, caused by a new virus that had not been seen in humans. The illness was caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and is called COVID-19
— As of March 5, 2020, 34 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Canada and the virus continues to expand globally
— Nova Scotia launched a website dedicated to the latest information about the coronavirus in January
— the Government of Canada has set up a novel coronavirus information line at 1-833-784-4397
The Public Health Agency of Canada maintains a list of affected areas: http://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/covid-19-affected-areas-list.html
Government of Canada: http://canada.ca/coronavirus
Nova Scotia Public Health offices: http://www.nshealth.ca/public-health-offices