OHS Canada Magazine

Nova Scotia lifting nearly all COVID-19 restrictions this week


July 5, 2022
By OHS Canada

Compliance & Enforcement COVID-19 Face Masks

Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced that Nova Scotia will remove all remaining COVID-19 restrictions in the community on Wednesday, July 6.

Most restrictions in high-risk settings will remain in place.

“This is the right time. Although we expect to see smaller waves of COVID-19 variants over the summer, our high vaccine coverage and low risk of severe disease from Omicron variants make it manageable as we learn to live with COVID-19. That’s why we are removing the remaining COVID-19 restrictions for the general public,” said Dr. Strang. “The pandemic is not over. But Nova Scotians have the tools and resources to make the right decisions to keep each other safe.”

Here are the changes Strang announced, effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 6:

Isolation

  • isolation shifts from being mandatory to strongly recommended for people who test positive for COVID-19
  • it is also strongly recommended that people who have symptoms such as a cough, sore throat or fever isolate until feeling better
  • it is still important for people with symptoms to avoid high-risk settings and people at higher risk
  • if a workplace has occupational health policies that are stricter than the general public health recommendations, such as mandatory masking or isolation requirements, people must continue to follow those policies.

Masks

  • will shift from strongly recommended to optional
  • masks are still strongly recommended for people who are ill or in a crowded indoor setting
  • for people who have COVID-19 symptoms but cannot isolate, it is strongly recommended they wear a well-fitted mask in indoor public places, on public transit and crowded areas
  • it is each person’s own decision whether to wear a mask, weighing their risk factors and comfort and those of people around them.

Testing

  • people with symptoms will still have access to COVID-19 testing at testing centres across the province
  • people with symptoms who are in a low-risk category in their self-assessment will have access to rapid tests only and will not receive a PCR test whether or not they test positive on a rapid test
  • higher risk people and those who work or live in higher-risk congregate settings still have access to PCR testing, and it is still recommended
  • Nova Scotia will no longer offer testing for those without COVID-19 symptoms
  • rapid tests will continue to be available for pickup at public libraries and MLA offices, but people who are sick should not go.

Long-term care, corrections facilities, shelters and transition houses

  • to align with the policy at hospitals, designated caregivers and visitors will no longer need proof of vaccination to visit
  • designated caregivers and visitors will be able to remove their masks when visiting in a private area or while outdoors
  • seven-day isolation for residents who test positive for COVID-19 continues to be required.

In July, Nova Scotia will shift to a monthly COVID-19 report, which will be posted online. The report will be produced on the 15th of every month and reflect the COVID-19 epidemiology in the province for the previous month. The first monthly report will be for June and will be available on July 15. The COVID-19 dashboard will continue to be updated weekly.

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