Nova Scotia announced that starting on June 8 travellers flying into Nova Scotia can receive a COVID-19 test kit at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
According to the province, travelers who arrive at the airport will be provided with a kit and instructions to complete their self-swab. Nova Scotia Health Authority staff will be onsite daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to swab anyone who is unable to self-swab or needs support.
Travellers who arrive between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. will take their self-swab kit to their self-isolation location to complete there. The swab must be completed within 48 hours of arriving in the province and can be dropped off at a primary assessment centres.
The province said the self-swab kit is a PCR test – a lab-based test similar to the one used at primary assessment centres. People will receive results by phone or email within 72 hours of dropping it off.
“The new testing option at the airport does not replace the need to self-isolate upon arrival into the province. Even if a traveller’s test comes back negative, the person must complete the required self-isolation,” the province said in a release.
As Nova Scotia continues with its reopening plan, Premier Iain Rankin said screening people as soon as they enter the province will help them quickly identify and respond to cases.
Changes to self-isolation requirements for rotational workers
Nova Scotia chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, also announced at a COVID-19 briefing Friday that a new isolation approach for rotational workers will be taking place beginning June 8.
Strang said the COVID-19 vaccination status of rotational workers will determine whether they need to isolate when they return to Nova Scotia and may allow them to shorten, or eliminate, the two-week quarantine required under COVID-19 public safety measures.
Strang added that testing “will remain a key part of this approach.”
Rotational workers who have no symptoms and have been fully vaccinated at least two weeks before arriving in Nova Scotia will no longer need to self-isolate. They must get tested on day one or two, again on day five or six, and again on day 12,13 or 14.
On the other hand, the province said that partially vaccinated workers who received one dose of vaccine at least two weeks before arriving in Nova Scotia still need to self-isolate for at least seven days.
15 new cases
The province reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 and 37 recoveries on Friday.
There are nine new cases in Central Zone. Six of the cases are close contacts of previously reported cases, two are related to travel and one is under investigation.
Six cases are in Eastern Zone. Four of the cases are close contacts of previously reported cases and two are related to travel.
As of Friday, Nova Scotia said it will report breakthrough cases weekly. A breakthrough case involves a person becoming COVID-19 positive two weeks after receiving either one or two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the province, there have been 3,902 cases from March 15 to June 1, 2021. Of those, 24 (0.6 per cent) were fully vaccinated, 187 (4.8 per cent) were partially vaccinated, 3,691 (94.6 per cent) were unvaccinated
The province also reported that 242 individuals were hospitalized in that timeframe. Of those, two (0.8 per cent) were fully vaccinated, 26 (10.7 per cent) were partially vaccinated and 214 (88.4 per cent) were unvaccinated.
Nineteen individuals have died so far. Of those, one (5.3 per cent) was fully vaccinated, two (10.5 per cent) were partially vaccinated and 16 (84.2 per cent) were unvaccinated
Nova Scotia said it has 251 active cases of COVID-19 as of Friday. There are 21 people in the hospital, including eight in ICU.
There were 14,783 tests administered between May 28 and June 3 at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Dartmouth, Halifax and Sydney.
As of June 3, 621,661 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 44,188 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.
Since April 1, there have been 3,891 positive COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths.
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