Annapolis Valley Register : 2020-03-19

HEALTH : 4 : A4

HEALTH

HEALTH A4 • THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2020 ANNAPOLIS VALLEY REGISTER • SALTWIRE.COM COVID-19 Nova Scotia’s first presumptiv­e COVID-19 cases lead to school cancellati­ons, other measures the 811 process before they are showing symptoms, because the test will only show a positive when they are showing a fever above 38 C and a new cough. “That is when the test is at its highest validity, so that’s when people are doing what we call shedding the virus,” she said. “Meaning that we can actually pick up the virus with the test at that point and confirm whether or not they have it.” She said that’s one of the reasons tests are not performed at airports, because returning travellers might not be showing symptoms at that time even though they may be infected. “This is a time not to think about ourselves but a time to think more about each other,” Strang said. “So I really appeal that people being told or asked to self-isolate need to adhere (to) that. And as communitie­s, we need to support that, so if people have self-isolated and need help to get groceries or their prescripti­ons, we need to step up as communitie­s and work together to protect each other.” As of March 16, there were five presumptiv­e cases of COVID-19 in the province. The two related cases are in Halifax and Strang said a man and woman in their 50s were in contact with someone who had recently travelled outside of the country. individual­s are now being asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days and monitor their symptoms carefully and then call 811 if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID.” He said the provincial testing procedure has now reached a point where positive tests produced in Nova Scotia are considered accurate but they were still sent to the national microbiolo­gy lab in Winnipeg for confirmati­on. As of March 15, Nova Scotia has done 418 tests, all of them negative except for the three mentioned. McNeil also announced further measures to mitigate the spread of the novel coronaviru­s. All long-term care facilities are closed to all visitors to limit exposure to vulnerable people. All schools will be closed for at least two weeks after March break, which reverses an earlier decision to keep them open. All regulated child care centres will be closed from March 17 to April 3. All March break camps are cancelled. The premier also said if it looks like the public health is at risk, the school and child care closures will be extended. The casinos in Halifax and Sydney were to close as of midnight March 15 and all bars must shut down their VLTs. Businesses are also reminded to practice social distancing of two metres and restrict capacity to no more than 150 people. It is now mandatory for anyone who has travelled outside of Canada to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor their health after they return. All public employees have been told anyone who can work from home should do so, effective immediatel­y, McNeil said. Public health inspectors will be at the Halifax Stanfield Internatio­nal Airport and the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport starting March 16 to inform travellers of their obligation­s and remind them of the process to follow should they start getting sick, which is to contact 811. The province is also working with border services to “beef up” the screening process, McNeil said. Informatio­n on the requiremen­ts will be posted on screens at the airports. “We’re expecting a lot of Snowbirds to return to our province in the coming days,” McNeil said. “It will require all Nova Scotians to remind their loved ones they need to selfisolat­e for 14 days and if they are feeling ill to follow the public health advice.” Delorey said the Nova Scotia Health Authority is taking steps to build capacity in the healthcare system in the wake of these presumptiv­e positives. “What this means is they will be taking steps to wind down services like education programs and face-to-face clinics to really focus their resources on urgent and emergency care services as they continue to, again, ensure that they have the capacity they need to respond to increased demand in our hospital system,” the health minister said. Strang stressed that the province has a chance to “get out in front of this” with the combined efforts of everyone adhering to the recommende­d protective measures. He once again emphasized hand-washing, cleaning of hightouch surfaces and avoiding touching your face and staying home if you’re feeling sick in any way. “All of those are going to be critically important to minimize the spread of this virus,” he said. “I fully appreciate that this is a huge change for people, a huge change in our communitie­s, creates significan­t burdens on organizati­ons, on families, but people, families and organizati­ons are already stepping up to the plate, as the premier has said.” The goal is to reduce the number of people who may get sick when COVID-19 reaches its peak and subsequent­ly reduce the number of vulnerable people who could become critically ill, he said. Watson-Creed stressed that people should not go through STUART PEDDLE SALTWIRE NETWORK Nova Scotia’s first three presumptiv­e cases of COVID-19 include a woman in her 60s from Kings County and two men from HRM, one in his 50s and the other in his 30s. All three recently returned from travelling abroad. The woman returned from Australia on March 8, the younger man returned from Europe March 10, and the older man returned from California on March 13. They all contacted 811 late last week and the lab notified the top officials late March 14. They are all now self-isolating at home and recovering. Premier Stephen McNeil, Health Minister Randy Delorey, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang and Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed, deputy chief medical officer, announced the initial cases at a news conference in Halifax March 15. “None of the three cases are connected to each other,” Strang said. “Extensive public health follow-up on all of the cases and their close contacts began (Saturday) night, as soon as we were notified of their cases. We’re able to say that there are a small number of Nova Scotians who were in close contact with these individual­s — fortunatel­y, a small number — and all those will continue until the pandemic is considered over. “At that time we'll poll the group,” she said. “If the members want to keep it going as a simple caremonger­ing group then perhaps it will continue in the spirit of people helping their neighbours. That would be a lovely outcome of choosing caremonger­ing over scaremonge­ring.” to be done carefully - handwashin­g, maintainin­g six feet distance, using gloves, disinfecti­ng items, and most importantl­y not offering to help someone if you yourself feel unwell in any way at all.” of our size and average age, a phone pyramid only makes sense. When I worked for the City of Victoria, our community police stations had phone pyramids to check on elderly neighbours. It's time we had one.” MacDonald said common sense must be applied to caremonger­ing. “We still have to practice social distancing and maintain selfisolat­ion when needed,” she said. “Even just a simple phone call can change the water on the beans for someone stuck at home. That said, if caremonger­s offer physical help to someone it has group in their own community. This type of community support only works well if it's in a reasonably tight geographic area - I chose Annapolis County as a simple frame of reference for our area. While people in West Hants or Queens County or Digby County are great folks, it doesn't make much sense for them to offer to come to Bridgetown to help someone get groceries or walk their dog. Part of social distancing is limiting travel as well - sticking to your community when you must be out and about is important.” MacDonald said the group PHONE TREE Nancy Anderson of Annapolis Royal is another one of those helpers. She had the female lead role in a local drama production that has been cancelled because of the Coronaviru­s. She’s turned her attention to helping out during the pandemic. “We need to act with some sense of responsibi­lity, and a custodial sense for the vulnerable in our community,” she said. “And, in a community HOW TO HELP People can search Facebook for Caremonger­ing-AC: Annapolis County Community Response to COVID-19 and then request to join. “They have to answer a question confirming they live or have a business in Annapolis County,” MacDonald said. “If they don't, they are encouraged to create a GO ONLINE https://www.facebook.com /groups/caremonger­ingAC/ DO YOU WANT HALF PRICE POWER? ASK US HOW! OPEN HOURS Mon.-Fri. 8 - 6 Sat. 9 - Noon Valley Profession­al Centre 70 Exhibition St., Kentville (902)-678-9933 Mike Derrick B. Sc (pharm) After animal testing a drug? studies, what are the “phases” for arise. 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