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Monday, April 6, 2020

Monday update: Thirty one new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia

Testing expands to non-travel related symptoms after largest jump in cases since this all began.

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 6:05 PM

click to enlarge Unless the usage guidelines change, chief medical officer of health Robert Strang says we have enough masks to last health professionals a month, with more on the way. - COMMUNICATIONS NOVA SCOTIA
  • Communications Nova Scotia
  • Unless the usage guidelines change, chief medical officer of health Robert Strang says we have enough masks to last health professionals a month, with more on the way.
After the highest one-day jump in cases since this whole "unprecedented time" began, Nova Scotia now has 293 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

There is now enough community spread (meaning cases can't be tracked down to a single source) in Nova Scotia that travel or a connection to travel has been removed from the requirements for testing. Anyone who is feeling symptoms (cough, fever) should visit www.811.novascotia.ca.

The province also introduced new measures today to protect long-term care facilities. Staff will have their temperature taken upon entry to the facility, extra cleaning is required and now, one case of COVID-19 in a long-term care facility is considered an outbreak—and needs to be reported to the province.

There have been 10,218 negative test results and 293 confirmed cases in Nova Scotia since the first confirmed cases were announced three weeks ago. Patients range in age from under 10 to over 90, and of the 293 confirmed cases, 64 people are now considered recovered. Starting today, Nova Scotia's lab testing will become a 24-hour operation, looking at up to 1,000 tests a day.  

Protocol on masks has changed, too. Health officials are saying wearing a mask might disrupt some virus transmission if you're in a situation where you can't maintain a two-metre distance from others—but you can only wear a mask as long as you don't take away supply from health professionals. At today's news briefing with his side-kick premier Stephen McNeil, health officer Robert Strang said the province has enough personal protective equipment to last a month—according to current protocol—and there's more scheduled to arrive by May. 

Nova Scotia has added more assessment centres, with 22 across the province and is in the middle of setting up two mobile assessment centres that could do community-based testing—either for people who are unable to get to a testing facility or if there is a need for spot testing in a location like a long-term care facility. One mobile unit will be in HRM, and one is to server Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia continues to have the largest number of cases since surpassing Newfoundland on April 2.

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