Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Update - April 3
- 14 new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.
- 207 total cases in Nova Scotia as of today, April 3.
- Cases range in age of under 10 to over 80.
- Most cases in Nova Scotia are connected to travel or a previous case, but other cases of community spread are expected to present.
- Dr. Strang corrected that 5 Nova Scotians are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 (not the previously stated figure of 9).
- 21 cases are now considered fully recovered from the virus.
- Nova Scotia has 8,234 negative test results, with 207 confirmed cases.
- Anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia, not just Canada, MUST self-isolate for 14 days when they return to Nova Scotia.
- This is a novel virus, meaning anyone is at risk. Everyone must exercise precaution.
- Stay home. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid going out to stores except for essential needs.
- Accurate, up-to-date, comprehensive information can be found at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
- Provincial State of Emergency has been extended until April 19.
- Almost 900 COVID-19 tests were completed by the QEII in the last 24 hours; 14 came back positive for the virus, which shows the strict measures we have in place are still working.
- We are now likely seeing signs of community spread, so we must strictly adhere to the public health orders put in place.
- The QEII Microbiology Lab will be expanding its operations to 24/7 testing capacity come this weekend.
- Although the QEII lab has recently quadrupled its testing capacities, this 24/7 model will allow for even more rigorous testing and quicker turn-around times for results.
- Consultations are currently underway with healthcare unions and infection control experts re: the use of N95 masks for certain frontline workers.
- COVID-19 is not an airborne virus; it’s spread by respiratory droplets (i.e.: when somebody coughs or sneezes in close range, or transmits those droplets to a surface).
- Supply challenges coupled with the virus not being airborne means that N95 masks need to be reserved only for situations where their use is absolutely necessary.
- Fears around COVID-19 are normal, but families are strongly advised by Dr. Strang not to remove loved ones from long-term care facilities and bring them home during this time.
- The level of care they receive in professional care settings is critically important to their health and wellbeing.
- Province has created a Worker Emergency Bridge Fund, and a Small Business Impact Grant that will help support laid-off workers and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A new extended hours phone line has been set up for people wanting information on income assistance eligibility from the Department of Community Services
- Call toll-free 1-833-722-1417 from Monday to Friday 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During regular business hours, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. call the regular toll-free line at 1-877-424-1177.
- Anyone who has travelled outside of Nova Scotia or been in close contact with someone who has travelled, and is experiencing a fever or new cough should complete the online questionnaire before calling 811. The online questionnaire can be found at: https://811.novascotia.ca
- There are confirmed cases of COVID-19 at a long-term care/ retirement facility in Nova Scotia; R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish, Lewis Hall retirement community in Dartmouth, and the Magnolia residential care home in Enfield.
- The Antigonish and Dartmouth care facility each have one employee who tested positive for COVID-19.
- All testing results of residents and staff at the Antigonish and Dartmouth facilities have come back negative.
- Three staff and two residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Magnolia residential care home.
- Staff members who’ve tested positive are still isolating at home.
- The two residents who tested positive at the Magnolia are also in strict isolation away from other residents; one has mild symptoms and the other is asymptomatic.
- The rest of the Magnolia’s residents have all tested negative for COVID-19.
- Staff have all been tested for the virus as well and final results are pending.
- Appropriate infection prevention and control measures are in place at these facilities and others across the province
- Government of Canada has announced an investment of $100 million to improve access to food for Canadians facing social, economic, and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
- This investment will provide funding to national, regional, and local organizations across Canada that are able to reach people and communities experiencing food insecurity; breakdown is as follows:
$50 million – Food Banks Canada
$20 million – divided up to Salvation Army, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada, and Breakfast Clubs of Canada; and
$30 million – local-level organizations focused on food insecurity.
- This funding will be used to purchase food and other basic necessities
- They will be able to use the funding to buy or rent equipment and other materials to help address the unique needs of the communities they serve and the health-related challenges presented by COVID-19
- Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are being deployed to Quebec to help rural communities combat the spread of COVID-19
- The federal government has been working with manufacturers to produce high-demand medical supplies, like masks, face shields, gowns, ventilators, and test kits. The government has signed an agreement with Amazon Canada to manage the distribution of this equipment to the provinces and territories.
- The supplemented GST Credit to help low-income Canadians will be distributed ahead of schedule. Every qualifying adult will receive up to $300 and $150 for every child in April, as opposed to May. Canadians have been encouraged to call or visit their bank to enrol in direct deposit, if they have not done so already.
- The Government of Quebec has requested the support of the Canadian Armed Forces to help remote and isolated communities in the northern region of the province. They will help by setting up tents and medical infrastructure.
- President Donald Trump has formally invoked the Defence Production Act. As per the act, 3M has been directed to cease exporting masks and respirators to Canada and Latin America, and produce many medical-grade masks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as needed. In addition, the Act is giving the US Health and Human Services secretary the authority to facilitate the supply of ventilator materials from six companies - General Electric, Hill-Rom Holdings, Medtronic, Resmed, Royal Philips and Vyaire Medical.
- In response to the Trump administration’s directives, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a warning, saying "We've been working very closely with the Americans to highlight what Canadians know very, very well: That the level of integration between our economies goes both ways across the border," Trudeau said. "We are receiving essential supplies from the United States, but the United States also receives essential supplies, products and - indeed - health care professionals from Canada every single day... These are things that Americans rely on, and it would be a mistake to create blockages or reduce the amount of back-and-forth trade of essential goods and services."
- On Sunday, April 5th, the Prime Minister will be holding a video conference for children with Canada’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tam. Children are encouraged to submit their questions through the CBC Kids website.
- Are seniors living in continuing care homes permitted to temporarily leave in order to live with family?
Response: Seniors are able to leave their continuing care facilities, however we recommend that families make all necessary considerations before making such decisions, (immediate access to healthcare professionals, 24/7 support, etc.).
- If residential landlords cannot evict due to non-payment of rent related to COVID 19 does this apply to commercial leases as well?
Response: Yes, the same process applies to both residential and commercial leases.
*All Nova Scotians are encouraged to find accurate and up-to-date information at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
*The Premier, alongside senior public health officials, will continue hosting regular press conferences to update the general public on the evolving situation. Although the next press conference has not yet been scheduled - it will be live-streamed. Everyone is encouraged to stay tuned to official Nova Scotia Government Channels. These channels include:
Each year at this time, the provincial budget is released and it provides the fiscal plan for the next 12 months. As Minister of Finance, I was pleased to table Budget 2020-21 in the Legislature on February 25, and to support the passage of that budget on March 10. Although the release of the budget happens at this time, preparations begin several months in advance.
One of the first steps is to develop a set of economic assumptions on which to build a solid foundation. These assumptions must be challenged by a team of economists from all the major banks in Canada, universities, private sector, and of course, the Auditor General. The results of that challenge showed that our assumptions were “wise and prudent”.
The next major step is to consider all sources of revenue available to the province, and to identify expenses required to continue to deliver programs and services that Nova Scotians need and deserve. The completion of that process resulted in a positive financial position, and confirmed, that for the 5th consecutive year, the province was living within its means. This good fiscal management has built confidence in the private sector, both provincially and globally.
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FINANCE/TREASURY BOARD--Nova Scotia Budget 2020-21 Invests in Northern Nova Scotia
Improving the lives of Nova Scotians, building on economic success, modernizing much-needed infrastructure and fostering confidence in a brighter future are the focus of government's fifth consecutive balanced budget.
"As a new decade begins, I am hopeful and optimistic about the future of our province. All Nova Scotians deserve to see benefits from the province's stronger economy and our positive fiscal position," said Minister of Finance and Treasury Board Karen Casey. "Budget 2020-21 supports Nova Scotians who may not have been feeling the success of the province. For our province to thrive now and in the future, we need to ensure our citizens receive the programs and services they need."
Budget 2020-21 estimates a surplus of $55 million with revenue of $11.60 billion and expenses, after consolidation adjustments, of $11.54 billion. It also projects balanced budgets in each of the following three years.
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