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Isolation exceptions for skilled and essential workers will continue

N.S. chief medical officer of health says exemption for three Irving executives done in error
WATCH: Doctor Robert Strang says the exemption was an error, but he will continue to make exceptions for specialized and essential workers. Alicia Draus reports.

Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health says he will continue to grant exceptions to the self-isolation requirements for skilled and essential workers.

On Wednesday, Dr. Robert Strang also revoked an exception he made for three Irving executives after they had a business trip in the United States.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia revokes coronavirus exemptions issued to Irving Shipbuilding executives for U.S. travel

Strang says concerns were brought to his attention and he reviewed his decision.

“I realized I should not have approved the plan as was,” said Strang during a press conference on Thursday.

“Even though safety requirements were part of my approval, the meetings could have been done virtually.”

Strang says the three execs are all now self-isolating for 14 days, but says he will continue to make exceptions on a case by case basis.

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“There are cases where specialized skills are required and as long as public health protocol is developed in these cases I will approve those,” said Strang.

“We do need to keep the economy going.”

Bars, restaurants officially allowed to reopen in Nova Scotia
Bars, restaurants officially allowed to reopen in Nova Scotia

The public health officer says he has already approved a number of plans but could not provide an exact number on how many exceptions have been granted so far.

He says he has worked directly with organizations seeking exceptions and that before approving any plan he considers the health and safety of all Nova Scotians.

Strang also stressed that he has said no to many plans that he felt did not meet safety standards.

“I even turned around a plane load of workers in the air about to land in Nova Scotia because I couldn’t approve the plan because it didn’t provide the right level of COVID safety,” said Strang.

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