**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
Measures to Further Help Prevent Spread of COVID-19
Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, gave an update today, April 6, on efforts to help further protect the province’s seniors and to expand testing criteria.
“I know it has been difficult for people during this time but following public health advice will ensure we flatten the curve,” said Premier McNeil. “Now more than ever we need to stay home. But we also need you to care for your loved ones, for those in your community and for those vulnerable Nova Scotians who need you more than ever.”
New measures announced today:
— removing travel as a requirement to be referred for testing for COVID-19 now that community spread is present in Nova Scotia. An assessment is still required through 811, which will refer you to an assessment centre, if required. Visit http://811.novascotia.ca/ for more information
— Dr. Strang has directed licensed long-term care homes to follow measures to further prevent the introduction of the virus into these homes and to reduce its spread if introduced to the facility. The directive includes a number of provisions, including cleaning, monitoring of residents and staff, testing, and reporting. The directive and the measures were provided to the sector today and are effective immediately
” As we see the beginning of community spread, it is critical we take further measures to protect our family members in long-term care homes,” said Dr. Strang. ” The directive will ensure that each facility, regardless of size, has all the information and resources to protect our seniors in their care.”
To date, Nova Scotia has 10,218 negative test results and 293 confirmed cases. Those cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. Sixty-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 .
As always, any Nova Scotian who develops symptoms of acute respiratory illness should limit their contact with others until they feel better. If they are concerned about COVID-19 they can go to http://811.novascotia.ca/ and use the online assessment tool. Anyone referred to an assessment site by 811 will be tested.
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
Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act gives the chief medical officer of health the authority to issue orders and directives to protect public health and decrease risk to public health presented by communicable diseases such as COVID-19
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, a temporary primary assessment centre is now operating in Elmsdale
— 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).