Nova Scotia tightening restrictions as COVID-19 cases climb

Dr. Robert Strang speaking at a press conference in Nova Scotia.
Dr. Robert Strang provides COVID-19 update Nov. 9. Photo credit: Nova Scotia government.
Ed Halverson - QCCR - LiverpoolNS | 09-11-2020
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Nova Scotia is cracking down on people coming from outside the Atlantic bubble.

From now on, everyone in the home where they are self-isolating will have to self-isolate as well. Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said nobody in that home can leave the property for 14 days and they cannot have visitors.

“If they choose to do that, it means kids can’t go to school, people cannot go to work, you can’t go shopping, you can’t go to the grocery store.,” said Strang. “That sounds harsh, but it’s necessary.”

Strang explained if you welcome someone who is self-isolating into your home on the 13th day of their quarantine, their self-isolation would end the next day, but you still have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Strang said it may sound harsh, but with the second wave of COVID-19 in full force around the country it’s necessary to prevent the spread of the virus by travelers to our province and our fate is in our hands.

“BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, [are] all reporting record numbers of cases. We have to do everything we can do to stop ourselves getting into similar situations. We will get overwhelmed and our healthcare system will get overwhelmed. We will put all of us in substantive risk,” said Strang.

COVID-19 protocols will remain the same for rotational or specialized workers, people who have exceptions to attend a funeral or be with an immediate family member who is nearing end of life, and those that are exempt from self-isolation such as military, police, first responders, truckers, flight crews, and others.

Strang is advising Nova Scotians to avoid non-essential travel into and out of Atlantic Canada. That includes planning to stay within the Atlantic bubble over the Christmas holidays.

“Now is not the time to be thinking, I’m going to get my family, we’re all going to go visit our cousins or aunt and uncle in Toronto for Christmas. Stay put. Celebrate with your family and friends that are already here in the bubble and then maybe you’ll wait until COVID is gone before you think about those non-essential travel with friends and relatives in other parts of the country or in other parts of the globe,” said Strang.

The chief medical officer of health said he is already having discussions with his team about possibly tightening up restrictions that had been eased off after the first wave of COVID-19 had passed.

Strang said Nova Scotians must recommit to the efforts that were made to minimize the impact of COVID-19, that includes tighten up our bubbles and paying closer attention to social distancing requirements.

“Now is the time for all of us to start too reduce our social activities and start to restrict social activities to people that are in our household or close social bubble,” said Strang.

He says people should stick to one social bubble of no more than 10 people.

Since the last briefing on November 3 the province has announced 15 new cases of COVID-19 which brings the total number of active cases in Nova Scotia to 16.

As the number of cases across the country skyrocket and Nova Scotian COVID-19 cases on the rise, Dr. Strang warns it’s up to all of us to take action.

“We are at a tipping point tight now, here in Nova Scotia. I’ve had a very anxious weekend,” said Strang. “We are at a critical tipping point that we all need to pay attention to. If you didn’t pay attention after our briefing last week, you need to sit up and pay attention now. We all need to make changes if we are going to change our trajectory.”

Reported by Ed Halverson 
Twitter: @edwardhalverson