****HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
Twenty New Cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia
As of today, March 28, Nova Scotia has 110 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Twenty new cases were identified Friday, March 27. Most are connected to travel or a known case.
Public health is working to identify 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. At this point, public health cannot confirm community spread as several cases are still under investigation.
The 110 individuals affected range in age from under ten to mid-70’s. Three individuals are currently in hospital. Four individuals have recovered and their cases of COVID-19 are considered resolved. Cases have been identified in all parts of the province.
An employee at R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish has tested positive for COVID-19, while an employee at Lewis Hall, a private retirement living community in Dartmouth, has also tested positive.
All residents, their families and staff at both facilities have been notified. Public Health is continuing to investigate and is working closely with the facility administrators. While no residents or other staff are showing symptoms, some are now in self-isolation as a precautionary measure and close contacts are being tested. There are no cases of COVID-19 among residents of long-term care facilities in Nova Scotia.
“The weekend is here and we need to be more vigilant than ever. We can’t let our guard down,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “Only go out if necessary and obey the physical distancing rules. And stay connected with your loved ones and neighbours. We will all get through this together.”
To date, Nova Scotia has 4,031 negative test results and 110 confirmed cases.
It is imperative that anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia self-isolate for 14 days and for everyone to adhere to the five-person social gathering limit. 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.
“Given the number of returning travellers, including snowbirds, and more testing being done, an increase in cases is expected,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “We’re three weeks into our response and I know this is hard for everyone. Please continue to be part of flattening the curve by following public health advice and direction.”
If you have travelled outside of Nova Scotia or been in close contact with someone who has travelled and are experiencing fever or new cough you should complete the online questionnaire before calling 811. The online questionnaire can be found at: http://811.novascotia.ca/ .
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .
“The health and safety of our residents and staff are our top priority and with the increased risks of COVID-19 on our resident population, we have been taking measures to protect them. Once we were notified of a case within our staff, we reacted quickly to take the appropriate steps to further protect, test and monitor our residents and support several of our staff to self-isolate and protect themselves from the potential risk. We will continue to be diligent through these uncertain times.”
— Michelle Thompson, CEO, R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home
“While this has been an unsettling day for the residents, families and team members at Lewis Hall, we have been preparing our teams for this circumstance for some time. We took early and concrete steps to implement our pandemic plan, including strict employee screening measures, visitor restrictions, and reinforcing our infection prevention and control practices. Today, we moved quickly in collaboration with Public Health to notify residents, families and team members, and have taken additional appropriate precautions when interacting with residents.”
— Jason Shannon, President and COO, Shannex
— 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 give advice 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 remains in effect until noon, April 5
— under the state of emergency government can control or prohibit assembly as well as travel to and from areas. It can also coordinate commerce activity and emergency responders
— a new virus like COVID-19 can cause fear. Nova Scotians are encouraged to support each other and use technology to stay connected
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)