COVID-19 Update from the AFN Health Director | March 26, 2020

March 26, 2020

Health Director Update #6


As of March 25, 2020, there are 68 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.

Nova Scotia Cancer Care Program and the Nova Scotia Breast Screening Program update by Aaron Prosper;

COVID-19 Resource Webpage for Cancer Patients:

Temporarily suspending the Colon Cancer Prevention Program (no current timeline on when this will be restarted)

As we focus our healthcare efforts on managing the COVID 19 pandemic, we are suspending our Colon Cancer Prevention Program until further notice. This means:

  • Home screening kits will not be mailed out.
  • Home screening kits already at the lab and those that are already in the mail will be processed and the results will be mailed to participants.
  • Participants who test positive for trace amounts of blood in stool will not be screened / scheduled for a colonoscopy until the screening program has restarted, but screening nurses will contact them to answer questions/ease their concerns.
  • All screening colonoscopies, which are currently booked will be cancelled until further notice.
  • NSHA is contacting scheduled patients and clients directly to notify them of cancellations.
  • Nova Scotians who have received, but have not yet done the home screening test are being advised to wait until the screening program resumes operations.


PAP tests are performed by primary care providers. It is recommended that all regular PAP testing be suspended, and only conducted on a case-by-case basis when needed. Official communication around this from the Cancer Care Program should be expected by this week or next.


All breast screening exams in the province have been cancelled since March 18th, this includes the Breast Screening Mobile service. It is unknown at this time how long this service will be suspended, and it is anticipated that some scheduled community rotations of the mobile bus will be cancelled.
Diagnostic mammography is still continuing in a limited capacity for urgent requests so if someone is symptomatic they can still access care if it is required.

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