**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
New National Screening Protocols for COVID-19
New national screening protocols have been established as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to expand globally.
Anyone who has travelled outside Canada may have come in contact with the novel coronavirus and should closely monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the country. Travellers who start to feel unwell, should stay at home/self-isolate away from the public. Individuals who develop a fever, with a temperature 38°C or higher, and/or cough should call 811 for assessment.
To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.
To help protect older Nova Scotians and those most at risk for severe illness, the province is restricting visitors who have travelled outside the country in the last 14 days from entering long-term care homes. As always, anyone who is feeling unwell should not enter a facility.
“We are expanding our screening to include travel outside of the country as the virus continues to spread,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health. “With more cases expected in Canada and spread into the community likely, we are adapting our processes to respond to this rapidly evolving situation.”
To prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, it is important that all Nova Scotians:
— practise good handwashing hygiene
— use cough and sneeze etiquette
— avoid touching your face
— minimize close face-to-face contact with people who appear ill
— stay away from others if you feel unwell
— regularly clean and disinfect high touch surfaces
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information at: https://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 8, 2020, 62 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: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/covid-19-affected-areas-list.html
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus
Nova Scotia Public Health offices: http://www.nshealth.ca/public-health-offices
Coronavirus Disease – COVID-19
COVID-19 Affected Areas List
This list is provided to help inform decision making by health professionals in Canada who are involved in the assessment and management of possible COVID-19 cases and their close contacts.
Countries or areas are added to this list after careful expert review of publicly reported case data and application of a risk assessment process. The risk assessment takes into consideration the following:
- New cases have been recently reported from the area
- Daily trend in case counts reported
- Multiple instances of spread have occurred at the community level (multiple clusters – not in definable settings like a household)
- Evidence of geographical spread
- Whether cases can be linked to an exposure (i.e., to another case or because of travel to another country with ongoing transmission of COVID-19)
Other considerations are taken into account when it is not clear whether a country or area should be added to this list. To date, the following are considered to be affected areas:
- China (mainland)
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
These countries also have corresponding travel health notices with additional information and travel advice that should be consulted.