**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
COVID-19 Projections Released, Show Value of Public Health Measures
Government released COVID-19 projections today, April 14, that show how COVID-19 could progress through the province through to June 30 if people continue to follow public health orders to stay home, social distance, limit essential gatherings to no more than five people and practise good hygiene.
Today, Nova Scotia reported 517 positive cases of COVID-19. According to the projections, if Nova Scotia had not put strong public health measures in place, the province could have instead had 943 cases as of today. They also show that if Nova Scotians continue to follow public health orders, there could be 1,453 cases by June 30, but with poor compliance, cases could grow to 6,269 over that time period. It is important to note the numbers are only modelling estimates.
The projections show a flattened peak in total cases in May that continues into June if public health measures continue.
“The public health directives we’ve put in place are working,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “These projections clearly show complying with social distancing and other measures can save lives. But we have to stay vigilant. The coming weeks are crucial, and we must continue to follow the protocols.”
Testing has proven to be effective. The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab is operating 24-hours. Nova Scotia is second in Canada in the number of people tested per million.
Other highlights of the projections include:
— without public health measures, the model projects hospitalizations of COVID-19 cases would peak at about 85 in May then slowly begin to decline. With strongly sticking to public health orders there would be a peak of about 35 in May and then decline throughout June
— currently, the most cases in the province are in the Dartmouth/southeastern community health network, almost double of nearby Halifax
The pandemic modelling was developed by staff from the Department of Health and Wellness, Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre. Details can be found here, http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/modelling/
While most cases in Nova Scotia have been connected to travel or a known case, there is now community spread. That is why travel has been removed as a requirement for testing for COVID-19.
The list of symptoms being screened for has recently expanded. If you have two or more of the following symptoms, visit http://811.novascotia.ca/ to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment:
— new or worsening cough
— sore throat
— runny nose
To date, Nova Scotia has 16,755 negative test results, 517 positive COVID-19 test results and three deaths. Confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. Ten individuals are currently in hospital, four of those in ICU. One-hundred and twenty-four individuals have now recovered and their cases of COVID-19 are considered resolved. Cases have been identified in all parts of the province. A map and graphic presentation of the case data is available at http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data .
Public health is working to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with the confirmed cases. 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 Nova Scotia 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 is now more important than ever for Nova Scotians to strictly adhere to the public health orders and directives – practise good hygiene, maintain a physical distance of two metres or six feet from others, limit essential gatherings to no more than five people and stay at home as much as possible.
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .
— 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 April 19
— there are 22 primary assessment centres in Nova Scotia: 21 operated by Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and one operated by the IWK Health Centre, temporary primary assessment centres are operating in two communities
— two mobile assessment centres are being established by NSHA to do community-based testing; Emergency Health Services operates two field assessment units, one in Halifax Regional Municipality and one in Cape Breton Regional Municipality
Government of Canada: http://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397
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).