Visitor restrictions expanded at several N.S. hospitals amid high COVID-19 case numbers

·2 min read
Nova Scotia Health says the changes are needed to reduce the risk of the virus being introduced or spread within its facilities. (Shutterstock / hxdbzxy - image credit)
Nova Scotia Health says the changes are needed to reduce the risk of the virus being introduced or spread within its facilities. (Shutterstock / hxdbzxy - image credit)

Visitor restrictions have been expanded to in-patients and long-term care residents at several hospitals in Nova Scotia's northern zone, as the province continues to report high daily COVID-19 case counts.

In a news release Friday, Nova Scotia Health said the changes are needed to reduce the risk of the virus being introduced or spread within its facilities.

As of Friday, in-patients and long-term care residents at the following sites are not allowed to have visitors:

  • Aberdeen Hospital – Transitional Care Unit in New Glasgow.

  • Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital - Northumberland Veterans Unit in Pictou.

  • South Cumberland Community Care Centre in Parrsboro.

  • Bayview Memorial Health Centre in Advocate Harbour.

Each resident is permitted to have two designated caregivers. Some exceptions may be made for patients in palliative care.

These changes are among the many being made at Nova Scotia Health facilities and hospitals as case numbers climb.

1,145 new cases

On Saturday, the province reported 1,145 new cases of COVID-19.

There are 598 new cases in the central health zone, 240 in the eastern zone, 180 in the western zone and 127 in the northern zone.

The province is issuing abbreviated updates over the weekend that do not include current hospitalization numbers.

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said earlier this week that the province would be focusing more on hospitalizations rather than case numbers during this Omicron-driven wave of the pandemic.

Nova Scotia: COVID-19 hospitalizations

In an interview with CBC Radio's The House, Strang said Nova Scotians eventually will have to live with COVID-19 and manage it through "good levels of immunity from both vaccination and infection."

"Omicron is pushing us in this direction, perhaps faster. It's harder to do it in the middle of this surge wave, but we have to adjust our response," he said Saturday.

"Expect lots of spread — the majority of people have relatively mild illness — and focus our resources on those who are most vulnerable for severe disease and try to limit as much as possible the impacts on our acute care hospitals."

Listen to Strang's full interview here:

As of Friday, there were 48 people in hospital with the virus, including seven in intensive care.

The hospitalization numbers are well below those from last spring's COVID-19 wave. There were more than 100 people in hospital in Nova Scotia due to the virus last May.

Nova Scotia Health labs completed 7,437 tests on Friday.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

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