Tuesday, June 6, 2023
HomeHealthNova Scotia lifts COVID-19 health order, no more weekly case reporting

Nova Scotia lifts COVID-19 health order, no more weekly case reporting




Nova Scotia is lifting its COVID-related Health Protection Act order and will no longer report cases in its weekly COVID-19 dashboard.

In a release Tuesday, the province said that with the World Health Organization declaring that COVID-19 no longer requires a global emergency-type response, the disease will now be treated similarly to other respiratory illnesses like influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

It said the change means the Health Protection Act order related to COVID-19, which came into effect in March 2020 and allowed the chief medical officer of health to impose restrictions to combat its spread, is “no longer necessary.”

“It is important to note that while COVID-19 no longer requires an emergency-type response, we continue to monitor COVID-19 activity and will adjust our plan as needed, as we do with other diseases,” said Dr. Robert Strang, the chief medical officer of health, in the release.

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Strang said the province will take a more “general approach” by integrating COVID-19 into its respiratory illness program ahead of the upcoming respiratory illness season in the fall.

“The same type of personal measures that protect us against COVID-19 will also protect us against influenza and other respiratory illnesses,” he said.

Effective Tuesday, the province is also lifting its mandatory vaccination protocol for high-risk settings, such as health-care facilities, long-term care homes, and correctional facilities, as well as directives around COVID-19 management in long-term care facilities.

“Employers and operators of high-risk settings will be responsible for policies about COVID-19, including masking and whether employees, outside service providers and volunteers need to be vaccinated,” the release said.

“Public health has provided guidance for operators of congregate settings on COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses.”

The COVID-19 dashboard, which tracks cases in the province, will also be updated for the last time on May 25, though the province will continue to report data in its monthly COVID-19 report.

“Starting in October, COVID-19 data will be reported with other respiratory illnesses in Respiratory Watch, a document produced by public health. It will initially be published monthly and then more frequently during respiratory season,” the release said.

According to the dashboard, as of May 15, there were 23 people in hospital due to COVID-19, five of whom were in intensive care. A total of 865 people have died of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia since March 2020.

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