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COVID-19: Nova Scotia safe isolation program has put up hundreds of people throughout pandemic

Since the pandemic first began, Nova Scotia has provided accommodations to nearly 500 people to help them isolate safely away from other people after contracting COVID-19.

“They’re primarily hotels, mostly used in the Central Zone,” said Health Minister Zach Churchill about the voluntary safe isolation sites.

The province currently has 60 sites available and 44 people are using them right now to isolate.

“Self-isolation is a key tool in our toolbelt to fight back against the spread of COVID-19,” said Churchill.

Read more: Police in Nova Scotia charge 2 people for not following self-isolation rules

On Wednesday, the federal government announced an additional $4.1 million to help the province run its program. The federal government has dedicated about $100 million in total to help all provinces run this program.

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“The funding helps us create safe spaces for people to isolate if they can’t do so,” said Churchill. “So this is primarily helping positive cases, people that are carriers of COVID-19, helping them stay away from their family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

The funding from the federal government is retroactive to April 1, 2021, and will be available for use until next spring.

Read more: Nova Scotia implements 14-day isolation period for anyone entering from New Brunswick (Jan. 8, 2021)

During the first wave, 265 people sought out the safe isolation program, which cost $520,000. So far during this third wave, the province has spent around $152,000 to put up 193 individuals.

When a case of COVID-19 is identified in Nova Scotia, local public health officials will check with confirmed cases and close contacts to see if they require any support during their self-isolation including medical attention, groceries or a safe place to self-isolate.

The program is entirely voluntary and those using the program are largely individuals living in congregate settings or in multi-generational homes, or those with roommates.

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