Nova Scotia likely to hit its COVID-19 peak in late April, early May: Strang

Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer Dr. Robert Strang says the province will likely hit its COVID-19 peak in either late April or early May.

Speaking at Wednesday’s press briefing, Strang said that’s based on the province’s current number of cases, as well as the trajectory of other provinces.

“That’s somewhat of a best guess,” Strang said. “We will see as time progresses, but that’s likely where we’re going to see it.”

READ MORE: Modelling projects between 1,453 and 6,269 cases in Nova Scotia by June 30

Strang added that once the peak is reached, cases do not drop off all at once.

“It’s a gradual reduction, which means we’re likely into June before we can even start to think about relaxing some of the restrictive measures we have in place,” he said.

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Strang noted that those measures, too, will not be relaxed all at once.

“We have to take them off carefully and gradually, monitoring the disease epidemiology and being prepared to course-correct if necessary.”

32 new cases, 549 total

Thirty-two new cases have been identified in Nova Scotia, bringing the provincial total to 549.

Of the new cases, 29 were identified in the central zone, while two were identified in the eastern zone and one in the northern zone.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: 13 more COVID-19 cases reported at Northwood care facility in Halifax'
Coronavirus outbreak: 13 more COVID-19 cases reported at Northwood care facility in Halifax

The total breakdown of where cases have been identified in Nova Scotia is as follows:

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  • Central: 426
  • Western: 46
  • Eastern: 42
  • Northern: 35

The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab completed 885 Nova Scotia tests on Tuesday. To date, Nova Scotia has 17,419 negative test results.

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There are now nine patients in hospital, with four in an intensive care unit. There were 10 in hospital on Tuesday.

Forty-nine per cent of cases involve male patients and 51 per cent involve female patients.

The province says public health is working to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with the confirmed cases. Those individuals who have been confirmed are being directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.

Anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia must self-isolate for 14 days. As always, any Nova Scotian who develops symptoms of acute respiratory illness should limit their contact with others until they feel better.

“It is now more important than ever for Nova Scotians to strictly adhere to the public health orders and directives,” the province said in a release. “Practise good hygiene, maintain a physical distance of two metres or six feet from others, limit essential gatherings to no more than five people and stay at home as much as possible.”

READ MORE: Third death recorded in Nova Scotia as case total hits 474

Travel has been removed as a screening requirement to get a COVID-19 test. Now, if you have two or more of the following symptoms, you’re able to get a COVID-19 test.

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  • fever
  • new or worsening cough
  • runny nose
  • headache
  • sore throat

Potential COVID-19 exposure at Dartmouth Superstore, on buses

The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) says grocery shoppers in Dartmouth and transit users in Halifax may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The NSHA says there was a potential exposure from April 9 to April 11 at the Atlantic Superstore on Braemar Drive. That was a result of an employee recently testing positive.

There are also two potential exposures on the following Halifax Transit routes:

  • Route #61 to Bridge Terminal/Halifax between 5 pm – 8 pm on April 11
  • Route #10 to Dalhousie via Bridge Terminal between 5 pm – 8 pm on April 11

The NSHA says they are contacting anyone known to be a close contact of the person or the persons confirmed to have COVID-19.

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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.

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.

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

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