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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Tuesday update: Your party could kill and other stern reminders from McNeil and Strang

Facing the province's first COVID-19 death.

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2020 at 7:36 PM

Everybody loves a good chart in the time of coronavirus, and while this chart sucks because it now has a green line that's counting deaths in the province, it's possibly a welcome sign that the red line—which shows how many new cases of COVID-19 are diagnosed in the province each day—is sort of, kind of flatish.

With the first death in the province (81,103 people have died worldwide) came another daily press conference from an exasperated premier Stephen McNeil and chief medical officer of health Robert Strang.

"People do die from this disease," said Strang. It's "why our province is putting in very tough measures."

click to enlarge "None of us are at no risk" from COVID-19, Robert Strang said at Tuesday's provincial news briefing. - COMMUNICATIONS NOVA SCOTIA
  • Communications Nova Scotia
  • "None of us are at no risk" from COVID-19, Robert Strang said at Tuesday's provincial news briefing.
Strang said today that of the 310 confirmed cases in Nova Scotia, about 10 percent of them are from community spread—meaning health officials can't track down a single source for someone's illness. Because of this, yesterday testing was expanded to include anyone—not just travellers or people exposed to COVID patients—with a fever of 38C (100.4F) or a new or worsening cough.

The province has also expanded its testing capabilities, and after setting up in Elmsdale and Enfield yesterday, temporary assessment centres have now opened up in North Preston, East Preston and Cherry Brook.

The approach of sending in a localized assessment team is to essentially "wrap a system" around that community and contain as much of the community spread as possible. That plus increased 24-hour lab testing is half of the battle, says Strang. The other half comes down to what Nova Scotians do themselves—as he and McNeil called out shoppers for being too close together, again.

"None of us are at no risk," says Strang. And not following distancing protocol doesn't just put you at risk, it's "giving the virus a foothold that’s putting us all at risk."

After being asked if personal protective equipment protocol for nurses and front-line health care workers was being determined by supply yesterday, this afternoon nurses started upping their PPE to wear surgical masks all day—which Strang said was just more about protecting the public from health care professionals who may be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, than the nurses themselves.

Mad dad McNeil closed the press conference with some stern messaging, reading "every party you show up at, and every get together you go to, could kill."  

Finishing with: "As you're planning your weekend, a Nova Scotian family is planning life without their loved one, because of this virus. This virus kills, and the only way we can kill it is if we keep our distance from one another."

So stay home. Wash your hands. Only get groceries if you really need them, and let that ingredient you forgot to get at the store (chocolate chips) wait. 

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