COVID-19 Update from Our Community Health Nurse

Community Members,

As you probably know, the second wave of Covid-19 has hit Nova Scotia. Much like the rest of the world, it is spreading quickly. The majority of cases are currently in HRM and Hants County areas, and so the Premier and Chief Medical Officer have tightened restrictions in those areas. The restriction guide for each county can be found here:

A summary of the new restrictions can be found below:

  • bars and restaurants are closed to in-person dining (takeout may continue)
  • maximum of 5 guests per household
  • groups of no more than 5 people allowed outside the home (group should remain as consistent as possible)
  • casino and other gaming establishments, fitness centres, libraries, and museums are closed
  • organized sports, recreational activities, faith-based and cultural gatherings, are not permitted
  • masks must now be worn in common areas of multi-unit dwellings such as apartment buildings and condos (in addition to all previous mask mandates)
    retail stores must operate at 25% capacity or below

Please read the following pages for more information, tips for the holiday season, and important resources.


The holiday season is upon us! It brings with it an extra layer of difficulty (to already difficult times) as we want to shop ‘til we drop and gather with family and friends. While we don’t yet know what restrictions will be closer to the holidays, it is time to start thinking about how we can adapt to celebrate safely, but happily. Here are some things to consider under current restrictions:

  • shop online
  • take advantage of curbside pickup - available with many stores when ordering online or by phone
  • “click and collect” available with many grocery stores (Superstore PC Express, Sobeys Voila, Walmart Grocery)
  • shop small/local businesses & avoid crowded malls etc.
  • shop “off-hours” - stores are typically less crowded through the day on weekdays, an hour before close, and mornings on weekends


One of the most important things to remember is if you are feeling unwell, stay home if you can, and if you can’t, minimize interactions, making only essential trips outside the home. By reducing the number of sick people in our province, it helps to reduce the load on our health care system, which is vital during a pandemic. One symptom can quickly turn into more, and potentially require a Covid-19 test, and/or treatment. We want to avoid passing any symptoms around stores, our work places, our communities etc. as it can quickly become complicated. While you may be “fine” with a cold or flu, the next person may be required to stay home, get tested, seek medical attention, or even be hospitalized. It is more important than ever that we protect one another this winter. You can find the 811 self-assessment and booking site here: or you can call 8-1-1


The flu shot helps protect you and your community. Especially this year, preventing the flu is one more way we can help reduce the load on our health care system. If you haven’t received one yet, you can book an appointment at the Gold River Health Centre (ongoing while quantities last) by calling 902-627-1245 or email . Flu shots will also be available at the Yarmouth Health Centre on December 1st, you can book by calling 902-742-4337.


Please note that many diagnostics sites are now setup for self-booking, such as ECG, bloodwork, or x-ray. If you have a requisition, you can book here:


The federal government has announced a new benefit to help ease the stress of having to stay home, for those who have no paid sick leave through their employer. The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefits (CRSB) pays for up to 10 sick days should you have to stay home with symptoms, awaiting test results, a positive case of Covid-19, or are a caregiver to someone who is required to isolate. You can find more information here:


Please know, this pandemic is hard on everyone, and you are not alone in feeling stressed, anxious, confused, or frustrated. If you are struggling, or finding it hard to manage, please reach out. We have adult and child/youth mental health clinicians at both Health Centres, in Gold River and Yarmouth. In addition, NIHB covers 2 hours of initial assessment plus 20 hours of ongoing mental health counselling sessions, and more may be available on a case-by-case basis. NIHB covers psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychotherapists, and other regulated mental health providers permitted to practice by legislation (ie: registered counselling therapists). They must be in good standing and willing to complete the paperwork with NIHB to be on the “approved list”. You can find more information here:

Or you can reach out to the Community Health Nurse to help you navigate this.


  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer when washing isn’t an option
  • wear a mask over your nose and mouth in all indoor public spaces, minimize the contact of hand to mask, and be mindful of clean hands when handling your mask
  • ensure physical distancing when interacting with anyone outside your group of 5-10 (depending on county restrictions)
  • respect capacity rules and follow directions when entering, exiting, and navigating through public spaces
  • be kind, be patient, be respectful


We’re all in this together!

Chelsea Sawyer
AFN Community Health Nurse