**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
New Travel Measures for Nova Scotia Public Sector Employees
Public sector employees who travel outside of Canada, including the United States, will be required to self-isolate upon their return. Government introduced the travel protocols today, March 13, to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the province.
To date, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.
Health-care workers, teachers, civil servants and other public sector employees who travel anywhere outside Canada will have to stay at home/self-isolate away from the public for 14 days after returning to the country. These measures also apply to students of Nova Scotia public schools and children in regulated child care centres who have travelled with their families, even if their parents or caregivers are not public sector employees.
“While we are fortunate to have no cases of COVID-19 in the province, we expect to see cases here very soon,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “We all need to do our part to reduce the spread, protect our most vulnerable and keep Nova Scotians healthy and safe.”
The private sector is encouraged to take the same approach and support employees to self-isolate for 14 days after travelling outside Canada.
The chief medical officer of health is also encouraging individuals, employers and community organizations to limit social gatherings to no more than 150 people to limit spread. This could include events like weddings, church services, movie theatres and concerts. This measure will help protect vulnerable Nova Scotians who are at greatest risk and will be reassessed as the situation evolves.
The province is also working with the federal government to delay the start of the cruise ship season.
Nova Scotians should think about additional measures they can take to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as:
— avoiding close contact with others (keeping at least two metres or roughly six feet apart)
— avoiding crowds and gatherings like parties and other group activities
— staying home if ill, especially if you have a fever and or a new cough
Nova Scotians can find the most accurate, up-to-date information, including what to do if you are feeling unwell, at http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
— Nova Scotia has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of March 13 with 226 negative tests completed
— travel advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada says anyone who travels to Hubei province in China, Iran or Italy must self-isolate for 14 days upon return to Canada
— Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act gives the chief medical officer of health the authority to give advice to protect public health and decrease risk to public health presented by communicable diseases such as COVID-19
— the EMO Provincial Coordination Centre is activating at the monitoring level to help track the situation locally and globally and provide planning support and information to municipal partners and others
— the 811 system is screening for COVID-19; there is also a self-assessment tool available on the 811 website
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
Government of Canada toll-free information line: 1-833-784-4397
Nova Scotia Public Health offices: http://www.nshealth.ca/public-health-offices
811 Website: http://811.novascotia.ca/