COVID-19 Press Releases

Testing for COVID-19 Expands; Health System Preparations

Premier Stephen McNeil, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Brendan Carr, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and Dr. Krista Jangaard, president and CEO of IWK Health Centre gave an update, March 26, on the health system and efforts to help Nova Scotians dealing with COVID-19.

“Our health-care system is being examined from top to bottom to ensure we are ready for COVID-19,” said Premier McNeil. “Our hospital administrators, our doctors and nurses, cleaning staff – everyone is focused on containing the spread. But none of this matters if you don’t stay at home and avoid social gatherings.”

Dr. Strang said testing to confirm COVID-19 is being expanded to include:

anyone referred by 811 to an assessment centre
all close contacts of people who test positive
people in hospital that meet the criteria for testing
An alternate phone line has been set up to ensure health-care workers are virus-free, able to safely provide care and not burden the 811 system. The service deals with NSHA and IWK staff, home-care and long-term care providers, pharmacists and health providers in First Nations communities.

“Over the next two weeks as travellers come home, we need to control and limit spread of this virus,” said Dr. Strang. “We can do this by strictly following public health measures – physical distancing and self-isolation.”

Other measures announced today include:

  • reservations for the 2020 camping season are on hold; an announcement will made when they are available
  • open fires are banned for any purpose in woods or within 305 metres of woods in any part of the province and will be in effect until May 15 (the public can report wildfires by calling 911 in an emergency or by calling 1-800-565-2224).

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at .

Media Contact:
COVID-19 Media Line