Weekly Health Update With AFN Community Health Nurse

Hi Everyone,

I know these are difficult times for everyone, so I want to start by assuring you, that whatever your feelings around this situation are, they are valid, and I hope you are finding ways to cope (whether its chocolate or a run, whatever is working for you). If you are in need of help, please reach out to us in the Health Department, or you council member.

If you or your children are feeling anxious, “Anxiety Canada” has a great website, and a free app called MindShift you can download as a resource to help work through some of the difficult feelings you may have. Other resources and more information can be found in the Facebook group AFN Community Health.

I know many people may also be having some financial stress with many not being able to work, or reduced hours. I understand that financial stress can lead to physical health symptoms, mental health symptoms, and household stress. Please look to the government of Canada website to see if you qualify for any of their financial relief programs. As well, I am working on getting some basic budgeting information and worksheets together to help create financial plans.

As of approximately 8am on April 6th 2020 there were 31 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours bringing the total to 293 confirmed cases. Of those cases, 10 have been hospitalized, and 9 currently remain in hospital today. 64 cases have been deemed resolved, meaning they are no longer experiencing acute symptoms.

In yesterday's update, Dr. Strang had a few new announcements

  1. Testing parameters have changed; travel will no longer be a part of the testing criteria. Anyone with a fever, and/or new or worsening cough is urged to check the modified self-assessment tool on and proceed as directed.

  2. Public use of Non-Medical Grade Masks; with more information coming from around the globe, both federal public health (Dr. Tam) and provincial (Dr. Strang) are now stating that using non-medical masks can be a good additional safety measure when physical distancing is difficult. These situations may include: when using public transit, essential grocery shopping or trips to the pharmacy.

    It is important with this new recommendation to note, that the mask is not a primarily a prevention measure for you, but to prevent you from spreading the virus as an early symptomatic infected person, or an asymptomatic infected person. Masks can help remind you to not touch your mouth and nose, but you must remember to refrain from touching your eyes as well.

    It is also very important to not get a false sense of security while wearing a mask. You MUST still adhere to excellent hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette (covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow), and ensuring physical distancing (6ft/2m) whenever possible.

    In the coming days, Public Health Officials will be releasing tutorials and information on making your own masks at home. Medical grade masks NEED to be reserved for front line workers who are most at risk, who continue providing us with the essential services we need. Let’s work together to keep them healthy, so they can keep working to take care of us.

Best links to get information

Please see our Facebook page: AFN Community Health and answer the joining questions for access frequent updates and links will be posted there

Nova Scotia Government:

Nova Scotia Health Authority:

Government of Canada:

World Health Organization:

WHO advising on pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding:

If there is anything you are looking for more information on or ideas on: nutrition, physical activity during isolation, coping strategies, child and youth health, etc. Please let me know and I can look into helping you as well as the community!

Stay safe everyone

Chelsea Sawyer
Community Health Nurse
O: 902-627-1245
C: 902-277-2297