COVID-19 Update from the AFN Health Director | March 23, 2020

March 23, 2020

Health Director Update #5

As of March 22, 2020, there are 28 cases of Covid-19 in NS. The cases are spread throughout NS and range in men and women from their late teens to mid seventies.
Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief public health officer, said although there has been no community spread in Nova Scotia, he expects it will happen soon. As of Sunday’s, update, more than 2,100 people in the province had been tested for COVID-19.

As many of you know the Premier of NS has declared a ‘state of emergency’. His message was clear. We, as a community, must ensure that we continue to follow the directives of the Nova Scotia Public Health Authority.

The government extended authority to create and enforce guidelines when necessary. Law enforcement will now have the authority to fine people who gather in groups of larger than five and/or who are not following social distancing protocols. Individuals will face a fine of $1000 and business $7500.

Protocols relating to travel were also updated. Effective yesterday, anyone traveling into the province must self-isolate for 14 days. This is an expansion of the directive that anyone returning from international travel must self-isolate. Related to travel, the border between Canada and the United States has been closed to all non-essential travel as well as provincial borders being tightened.
All provincial parks are closed. Visitors will be considered trespassers and their vehicles can be towed.
Dental offices have been ordered to close unless a medical emergency is determined.
Nova Scotia Health Authority has restricted visitors and is suspending some elective and non-urgent appointments and services to contain the spread of COVID-19 and conserve resources. Read more on the NSHA website.

IWK Health Centre has restricted visitors and is suspending all non-urgent appointments and services. Urgent and emergency appointments and services are continuing. Read more on the IWK website.

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

Acadia First Nation Health Centres are closed. Dr. Marais will still be operating his practice under his regular business hours to see his practice patients who ARE NOT experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 in the Yarmouth Health Centre.
Please do NOT enter the Health Centre if you are exhibiting symptoms. If you are unsure of what to do, call Pam and she will advise how to proceed (902)742-7598.
Not everyone who has concerns about COVID-19 needs to call 811. To find out if you need to call, use the COVID-19 online self-assessment.
As always, continue with Proper hygiene which will reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
    • use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • when coughing or sneezing:
    • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

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