Nova Scotia changes guidelines for what people must do after COVID-19 exposures

·2 min read
A health-care worker tests a woman at a pop-up COVID-19 assessment centre at the Angela James Arena in Toronto on May 19, 2021.  (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A health-care worker tests a woman at a pop-up COVID-19 assessment centre at the Angela James Arena in Toronto on May 19, 2021. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Nova Scotia is changing the way it notifies people of potential COVID-19 exposures.

In a news release issued Friday night, the province's health authority announced it will be issuing precaution and exposure notifications. Self-isolation and testing requirements will be based on people's vaccination status.

The "precaution notifications" will be issued when the potential exposure is of minimal risk to the public, while "exposure notifications" will be issued when the public has had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

When a precaution notification is issued:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to self-isolate or be tested, unless they develop symptoms. They must self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days from the exposure. "Symptoms include a new or worsening cough, and two or more of the following: fever (i.e. chills, sweats), shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, or headache," said the news release. Anyone who develops symptoms must self-isolate, book a COVID-19 test and remain isolated until they receive a negative test.

  • Individuals who have zero or one dose of COVID-19 vaccine are not required to self-isolate, unless they develop symptoms. Individuals are encouraged to get tested at least 72 hours after the exposure, regardless of whether they have symptoms. They should self-monitor for the symptoms mentioned above. Anyone who develops symptoms must self-isolate, book a COVID-19 test and remain isolated until they receive a negative test.

When an exposure notification is issued:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to self-isolate or be tested, unless they develop symptoms. They must self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days from the exposure. "Symptoms include a new or worsening cough, and two or more of the following: fever (i.e. chills, sweats), shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, or headache," said the news release. Anyone who develops symptoms must self-isolate, book a COVID-19 test and remain isolated until they receive a negative test.

  • Individuals who aren't fully vaccinated must immediately self-isolate — regardless of whether they have symptoms — book a COVID-19 test, book a second test six or days after the exposure. They can stop self-isolating after seven days only if the test is negative and they are not experiencing any symptoms. People are encouraged to avoid contact with immunocompromised people, such as people in nursing homes. A third test is recommended on day 14. People who don't get tested on day six or seven must self-isolate for 14 days from the exposure date. Testing is recommended after the initial exposure and on day 14.

CBC News maintains a list of active COVID-19 exposures.

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