HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is reporting a new case of COVID-19 for the first time in more than two weeks.
Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, said Tuesday the new case is in the western health zone and involves an essential worker who travelled outside Canada.
Strang also announced that starting Sept. 28, residents of long-term care facilities will be allowed to leave their residences to visit family and friends.
The Health Department is looking to hire more people to answer the province's 811 non-emergency health hotline, he said, after call volumes increased when schools reopened earlier this month.
Opposition parties have called on the government to reduce wait times for people dialling the hotline for COVID-19 testing. Strang said his department is working on other ways people can obtain testing appointments, but he didn't give details.
"There's active conversations in the health system about the way we make things better," he said.
Premier Stephen McNeil said the return of a new case is a reminder against becoming complacent, even if the province is among "the safest places around the world."
"We are monitoring and preparing for a second wave coming," he said. Nova Scotia has one active case of COVID-19.
The province has reported a total of 1,087 cases, with 1,021 cases considered resolved. There have been 65 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus in Nova Scotia.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2020.
Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press