Nova Scotia is imposing a 14-day mandatory self-isolation for travellers from Newfoundland and Labrador, as the number of COVID-19 cases soars in that province.
Premier Stephen McNeil announced the new restriction on Tuesday after Newfoundland and Labrador announced 30 new cases of COVID-19. It took effect Wednesday, at 8 a.m.
“We always acted quickly and necessarily when we had to,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said during Tuesday’s briefing with reporters.
“So I think it is important that we now impose the restriction like all other provinces.”
With this decision, P.E.I. becomes the only province left with no travel restrictions in Nova Scotia.
Also Tuesday, Nova Scotia reported one new case of COVID-19 in the central zone, which involved travel outside Atlantic Canada. There are currently nine active cases in the province.
Update on vaccines
Nova Scotia received 5,950 doses of COVID-19 vaccine last week. This week the province is expecting 1,950 more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
This week’s shipment will increase the total number of vaccines received by the province since Dec. 15 to 34,800 doses, according to the province. Nearly 19,000 doses have been used. Some people have begun receiving their second dose out of this total. The remaining unused doses are reserved for the people when their second dose is due.
There are four health-care worker clinics that are currently running in Halifax, Truro, Kentville and Yarmouth. A second dose clinic for some of the long-term care facilities will also be starting this week.
Next week the province is expecting the biggest shipment of vaccine so far with 8,775 doses.
“We’ll certainly be ramping up our vaccine program to administer that amount of vaccine as quickly as possible,” said Strang. “We want everybody who can get vaccinated to get vaccinated.”
Four-day prototype clinic
The first prototype community clinic at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax will run for four days starting Feb. 22. Strang said 1,000 doses of vaccine have been allocated to this clinic to immunize 500 people. This clinic is for people who are 80 and older.
It should be noted that this invitation can only be used by its recipient. An assistant or support person is allowed to accompany the person getting vaccinated, but will not receive the vaccine. Strang advised people to check for allergic reactions, autoimmune or immune system problems before booking a vaccine appointment.
Strang said four pharmacy prototype clinics will be set up in Halifax, Cumberland, Shelburne and Inverness counties in early March. The province will also be working with Mi’kmaw communities to set up prototype vaccine clinics.
“We’ll be supporting them but that communities will be running their own clinics and their health centres,” said Strang. “We’ll be providing logistic support, providing the vaccine, and other materials to help them run their clinics.”
Other inquiries related to COVID-19
At the end of Tuesday’s briefing, Strang reminded everyone to keep wearing a mask in public.
“I want to remind people there have been no changes to our mask requirements,” he said. “You should be wearing a mask … unless you have a valid medical reason not to.”
He also said it’s acceptable to walk outside if you’re self-isolating. “It is a way to help people maintain their health while they’re undergoing the necessary quarantine. But it is very important that people don’t take advantage of that situation, and put other members in the community at risk.”
Symptoms and testing
Anyone who is experiencing a fever or a new or worsening cough should complete an online self-assessment or call 811 to determine if they should be tested.
Anyone with two or more of the following symptoms should also be assessed:
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose
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