COVID-19 Update from the AFN Health Director | March 30, 2020
- Published: March 30 2020 12:46
March 30, 2020
Health Director Update #7
As of March 29, 2020, there are 120 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. Most are connected to travel or a known case.
It is imperative that anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia self-isolate for 14 days and for everyone to adhere to the five-person social gathering limit. As always, any Nova Scotian who develops symptoms of acute respiratory illness should limit their contact with others until they feel better. If they are concerned about COVID-19 they can go to https://811.novascotia.ca/ and use the online assessment tool. Anyone referred to an assessment site by 811 will be tested.
- Testing numbers are updated daily at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
- Nova Scotia's Health Protection Act gives the chief medical officer of health the authority to give advice to protect public health and decrease risk to public health presented by communicable diseases such as COVID-19
- A state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22 and remains in effect until noon, April 5
- Under the state of emergency government can control or prohibit assembly as well as travel to and from areas. It can also coordinate commerce activity and emergency responders a new virus like COVID-19 can cause fear. Nova Scotians are encouraged to support each other and use technology to stay connected.
- The following restrictions are in place under the Authority of the Health Protection Act:
- Gatherings and social distancing
- There are to be no social gatherings of more than 5 people.
- Any workplace or business that is not deemed essential (or not already required to be closed) can remain open as long as a two-metre (6 foot) distance can be maintained.
- Schools and child care
- Public schools will be closed for the weeks of 23 March and 30 March.
- All licensed childcare providers are required to close (through 3 April inclusive).
- Restaurants, bars, and casinos
- Restaurants are restricted to take-out and delivery orders only.
- All drinking establishments, winery and distillery tasting rooms, and craft taprooms must close; private liquor stores can operate, and craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries can still sell their products from their storefronts.
- Casinos in Halifax and Sydney are closed; bar owners can no longer operate VLTs.
- Health professions
- Regulated health professions can only stay open for emergency or urgent cases or to provide virtual care, excluding doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses and paramedics, as long as they can meet social distancing requirements in their waiting room or other non-clinical areas and follow the cleaning protocol.
- Non-regulated health professions (such as naturopaths) must close. One exception is podiatrists who must follow the directive related to regulated health professions.
- Dentists can no longer practice dentistry in their offices unless they deem it necessary to perform an emergency dental procedure in the best interest of the patient’s health.
- Other businesses
- Veterinarians, including veterinary surgeons and veterinary physicians, can only provide in-patient emergency or urgent care services, essential veterinary supply chain services (like prescription refills or prescription food) and virtual care services.
- Personal services, like hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons, and body art establishments must close.
- All fitness establishments, like gyms, must close.
- Long-term care facilities
- Long-term care facilities are closed to all visitors.
- Other directives from government include:
- Employers cannot require a doctor’s note if an employee must be off work.
- No tenant can be evicted because their income has been impacted by COVID-19 (effective for next 3 months).
- University students from Nova Scotia who are still living in residences need to go home, to provide space for social distancing for those students from outside the province who are not able to travel.
- All day programs, supported employment and social enterprise service providers funded through the Department of Community Services’ Disability Support Program have been asked to close.
- Gatherings and social distancing
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.
Eskasoni CRISIS AND REFERRAL SERVICES
TOLL FREE 1-855-379-2099
Kids Help Phone is available 24/7, by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)
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