Nova Scotia

625 N.S. health authority staff off work for COVID-19 reasons Tuesday

The staff include people who have tested positive, were exposed to someone in their household who tested positive or are awaiting results of COVID-19 tests.

Employees either tested positive COVID-19, were exposed or awaiting test results

The emergency department entrance at the QEll Health Sciences Centre on Robie Street in Halifax is shown. Hundreds of Nova Scotia health authority staff are off work due to interactions with COVID-19. (Robert Short/CBC)

Nova Scotia's health authority reported 625 of its employees were off work on Tuesday because of interactions with COVID-19.

These include people who have tested positive, were exposed to someone in their household who tested positive or are awaiting results of COVID-19 tests.

There are fewer staff off work than there were last Thursday, when nearly 800 employees couldn't work for COVID-19 reasons.

But the new numbers come as the health authority introduced new protocols on Friday to allow some health-care workers to stay on the job and get back to work faster.

One of those protocols includes allowing employees who had a booster shot who were exposed to someone in their household with COVID-19 — but not positive themselves — to keep working, providing they adhere to certain restrictions like wearing personal protective equipment at all times and taking a rapid antigen test at least once every 48 hours.

Here is the breakdown by health zone of employees off work for COVID-19 reasons:

  • Western zone: 124.
  • Central zone: 273.
  • Northern zone: 91.
  • Eastern zone: 140.

The numbers above total 628 employees. The total number of employees off work is 625, but the extra three reflect employees who work in more than one health zone.

The health authority numbers do not include staff at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. A spokesperson for the IWK told CBC News that 175 staff are off work due to interactions with COVID-19 and there are fewer than five hospitalizations.

 

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