Nova Scotia Journal

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Volunteers from N.S. continue to assist the province’s COVID-19 testing efforts

Volunteers from N.S.

Key Takeaways:

  • During the Omicron surge, an infectious disease physician and researcher in Halifax applauded the ongoing efforts of volunteers distributing rapid test kits.

“Nova Scotians are doing an excellent job of patience.” As a result, we have good access to kits than anyone else in Canada. Dr. Lisa Barrett, an infectious disease doctor or researcher at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said, “Especially in a volunteer-driven way.”

The Halifax Convention Centre’s Boxing Day supply of take-home rapid tests was depleted within a few hours. Thousands of people fell on the downtown core, both on foot and in vehicles, to try to obtain a kit.

The increased demand for testing in Nova Scotia has prompted the province to rethink its approach to better use the province’s limited resources.

“We just really need to keep the PCR testing for all who are at high risk, and that’s OK and normal, but it’s just another reminder that as we switch to doing less testing, the case numbers will appear to be going down,” Barrett said.

She warns that people should not assume that fewer cases in the coming weeks mean that the virus is less frequent. “It will appear that the case numbers are decreasing because we will not be recording as many because people are doing their tests at home with antigen tests,” she explained.

Volunteers from N.S.; Image from SaltWire

All who are close contacts of a confirmed case or who are symptomatic are advised by public health to immediately self-isolate.

Beginning Monday, those conditions must also be met, with people completing an online self-assessment through the local website to determine which type of test they should take.

According to the most new information from the province, most people will be directed to schedule a rapid test, as PCR slots remain limited to those who are most vulnerable to severe disease, are essential to healthcare system operations, or live in a congregate setting.

“I hope people remember that every person in front of them could be a contact or a positive, and we won’t be able to tell anymore.” So, go forth into the world with the knowledge that COVID is all around you. “It’s not a fear thing, but make sure you wear your mask properly,” Barrett advised.

She also advises Nova Scotians not to travel too far from their homes in the coming weeks as the virus continues to spread at a high rate.

Source: Global News

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