2 employees at long-term care homes test positive for COVID-19, N.S. reaches triple digits

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Nova Scotia has seen its largest jump in cases of COVID-19 in a single day as the number of cases reached triple digits.

On Saturday, the provincial government announced it has detected an additional 20 cases, bringing the total number of cases in Nova Scotia to 110.

Two of the new cases are employees at long-term care facilities.

One works at the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish, N.S., while the other is an employee at Lewis Hall, a private retirement community in Dartmouth.

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All residents and staff at the facilities have been notified, with the province’s health officials continuing to investigate and work with the facilities’ administrators.

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Although no residents or other staff are showing symptoms, some are now in self-isolation as a precautionary measure while close contacts are being tested.

Nova Scotia says there are no cases of COVID-19 among residents of long-term care facilities at this time.

“The weekend is here and we need to be more vigilant than ever. We can’t let our guard down,” said Premier Stephen McNeil in a press release.

“Only go out if necessary and obey the physical distancing rules. And stay connected with your loved ones and neighbours. We will all get through this together.”

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The 20 new cases have been directed to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

Officials are currently working to identify people who may have come in close contact with the newly confirmed cases.

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As of Saturday, the province said it could not yet confirm community spread as they continue to investigate several cases.

Cases in the province range from under the age of 10 to mid-70s. Three people are currently in hospital while four people have recovered and their cases are now considered resolved.

Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said in a press release that an increase in cases is expected as travellers continue to return to Nova Scotia.

“We’re three weeks into our response and I know this is hard for everyone. Please continue to be part of flattening the curve by following public health advice and direction.”

As of Saturday, there have been 4,031 negative tests in Nova Scotia and there are confirmed cases in all parts of the province.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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