Advertisement

N.S. public health workers slowly resuming in-person community programs

Parents and caregivers can once again bring their young children to the public health drop-in sessions to ask questions about everything from nutrition to developmental milestones. (Jonathan Stainton/CBC - image credit)
Parents and caregivers can once again bring their young children to the public health drop-in sessions to ask questions about everything from nutrition to developmental milestones. (Jonathan Stainton/CBC - image credit)

Public health teams across Nova Scotia are stepping back from a full-scale COVID response, and are slowly reintroducing community support programs that used to be common throughout the province.

It's great news for resource centres including Parents and Children Together (PACT) in Cole Harbour.

"We were so, so happy," said Deanna Coleman, the program director of PACT, when she heard a once-a-month family drop–in service would resume.

The Early Years public health drop–in is a chance for parents and caregivers of newborns and young children to ask public health nurses about things like nutrition or growth milestones. Coleman says it helps build relationships in the community.

"Anything that can help families feel more connected to the community and help them with any feelings of isolation, we're so excited to have them back in our space," she said.

"It provides a safe space for the families to gather and get to know each other and to see the struggles and the really positive things that other families are experiencing."

Robert Guertin/CBC
Robert Guertin/CBC

Public health officials declined to be interviewed about the resumption of services, but in a statement said the pressures of COVID–19 have stabilized.

Some staff will continue to test and vaccinate for COVID-19. Others will work with high-risk people and residents in nursing homes, hospitals and prisons. While others will return to the same public health jobs they had before the pandemic. But there's no all–encompassing timeline for when everything will be back up and running, the statement said.

"It is important to note that many of our staff have been redeployed to COVID–19 response for over two and a half years and thus require training and in some cases recertification," the statement said.

Coleman is expecting a big response on Thursday when the first Early Years event is planned at PACT. She says families are eager to ask questions of public health.

"This drop-in has always been very well received."

MORE TOP STORIES