COVID-19 Update # 9 from the AFN Health Director | April 3, 2020

April 03, 2020

Health Director Update #9

As of April 2, 2020:

COVID-19 testing data

Nova Scotia is testing for COVID-19. Updated 2 April 2020.


Positive * 193
Negative** 7,446


 * Positive cases are those found to have a positive confirmation by either the QEII Health Sciences Centre’s Microbiology Lab or the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg.
** Negative cases are those found to have a negative confirmation by either the QEII Health Sciences Centre’s Microbiology Lab or the National Microbiology Lab.

Data visualization of cases by zone and other Covid-19 related statistics can be found:

Consideration on Homemade Masks by Health Canada

Notice to General Public and Healthcare Professionals

Health Canada is advising the public, as well as healthcare professionals (HCPs) to use caution when considering the use of homemade masks to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.
Homemade masks may include those that are:

  • made of cloth e.g., cotton
  • with pockets to insert other masks or filters
  • to be worn over N95 respirators (in an effort to reuse respirators)

Homemade masks are not medical devices and consequently are not regulated, like medical masks and respirators. Their use poses a number of limitations:

  • they have not been tested to recognized standards
  • they may not provide complete protection against virus-sized particles
  • the edges are not designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth
  • the fabrics are not the same as used in surgical masks or respirators
  • they can be difficult to breathe through and can prevent you from getting the required amount of oxygen needed by your body
  • they may require frequent adjustment, increasing the amount of times your hands come into contact with your face and increasing the probability of infection

These types of masks may not be effective in blocking virus particles that may be transmitted by coughing, sneezing or certain medical procedures. They do not provide complete protection from the coronavirus because of a potential loose fit and the materials used.

A NIOSH*** or equivalent approved N95 surgical respirators are designed to reduce the risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles and aerosols. These respirators are medical devices authorized by Health Canada. An N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. The 'N95' designation means that when subjected to careful testing the respirator blocks at least 95% of very small test particles.
Medical masks are also medical devices that use materials that block at least 95% of very small test particles, however, they do not fit tightly to the face, so are not designed to provide complete protection for the wearer. Both respirators and masks need to be used in combination with appropriate eye protection (e.g., face shield, goggles) to achieve full protection of the eyes, nose and mouth.

***U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Health Canada has provided important information on optimizing the use of masks and respirators during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Public Health Agency of Canada guidance on preventing coronavirus includes guidance on wearing masks, if necessary, and includes the following:

  • If you are a healthy individual, the use of a mask is not recommended for preventing the spread of COVID-19
  • Wearing a mask when you are not ill may give a false sense of security
  • There is a potential risk of infection with improper mask use and disposal
  • They also need to be changed frequently
  • However, your health care provider may recommend you wear a mask if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 while you are seeking or waiting for care. In this instance, masks are an appropriate part of infection prevention and control measures. The mask acts as a barrier and helps stop the tiny droplets from spreading you when you cough or sneeze.

For further advice and resources, please visit the Government of Canada COVID-19 website.

Safe Sharps Disposal during Covid-19

Pharmacies are instructing patients to use heavy duty plastic containers to store used needles (‘sharps’) at home until further notice. Containers like those used for laundry soap should be labelled Sharps and kept safely out of reach of children.
NO sharps or containers with sharps inside should ever be put in the garbage or recycling for collection. Help us keep our workers safe!
Pharmacies will not be accepting used sharps because suppliers will not be shipping sharps pails during the COVID-19 situation. Labelled sharps containers will be accepted by pharmacies at a future date.

For more information on safe sharps disposal:

Our Mental Health services provided by NSHA are still being offered via telephone.

Kelly Breau, NSHA Adult Clinician (902)740-3083
Michael Ross, NSHA Adult Clinician (902)354-3677
Heidi Mitton, NSHA Child and Youth Clinician (902)247-3429
Brynn Davies, NSHA Child and Youth Clinician (902)670-4923


Eskasoni FN has offer the services of the Eskasoni Crisis and referral line services. These services can be offered in Mikmaw and English.
TOLL FREE 1-855-379-2099

Kids Help Phone is available 24/7, by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)

Marla Robinson-Pyne
Health Director Acadia First Nation
Phone: (902)742-0257