As N.S. focuses on calling international visitors, Florida woman awaits first call
Louise LeBlanc-Cornelissen has been in Nova Scotia for 10 days, but province hasn't checked up on her
Earlier this month, 84-year-old Louise LeBlanc-Cornelissen flew into the Halifax airport from Florida, a hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. Ten days later, she's still waiting for the province to check up on her.
"I would like for the Health Department to check up on everybody, especially coming from Florida," she said. "You would think that they would call to see where these people are."
On July 6, Premier Stephen McNeil said people entering the province from outside Atlantic Canada would have to fill out a form and provide contact information. He said the government would call every day to ensure they were following the rules.
"Our first priority is people who are international travellers, and as we get through the 14 days we may back away from a daily call for everybody," he said.
LeBlanc-Cornelissen grew up in southwestern Nova Scotia and still has a home in East Pubnico. Her family, anxious to get her to the safety of Nova Scotia, had everything waiting for her in preparation for self-isolation. She said she's been diligent about following the rules and has spent her time doing housecleaning.
Her son-in-law, Sandy Forbes, said he's worried the province isn't checking up on all visitors.
"It's very worrisome this is taking place and that they say they're going to be checking up on international travellers when obviously they're not," he said. "What's the point of making the Atlantic bubble if you're just going to throw everything out the door?"
Ramona Polukosko and her daughter arrived July 9 from Calgary to spend time with elderly relatives after they complete their 14 days of self-isolation on the South Shore.
"I have not been called once to make sure I'm self-isolating," she said.
'I believe Nova Scotia should be testing everyone,' says visitor
Polukosko is taking precautions by not leaving the property where she's staying.
She went for a COVID-19 test before leaving Alberta and wishes she could get tested here. However, the government has told her she cannot be tested unless she displays a symptom.
"I believe Nova Scotia should be testing everyone. Everybody should be allowed to get a test," she said.
CBC News asked the Nova Scotia government to provide the number of people who have come into the province from outside the Atlantic bubble since mandatory forms were implemented at all entrance points. It also requested the number of people making the calls to ensure people are self-isolating.
Response from the province
The province did not provide any numbers. Instead, it sent along a statement.
"Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services (SNSIS) is now engaged in managing the mailbox used to receive border tracking forms," wrote spokesperson Heather Fairbairn.
"As well, dedicated resources from both 811 and SNSIS are supporting the outbound calling process. We continue to adjust staffing and refine our internal processes to address the volume of calls that may be needed, as well as placing a priority focus on calls to those involving international travel."
Elsewhere on the South Shore, Raeanne Rivard, her husband and three children have been self-isolating at a family cottage since arriving from Alberta on July 10.
She has received a call eight of their 10 days in the province, although the province initially identified another person with a different name as her husband.
She said they're following the rules and are "in the middle of nowhere," so there's no place for them to go. However, she worries people in more populated areas might become complacent.
"If you're staying in the city and you're not getting a call, I could see how it might flip and you might just say, 'I'm going to the store. Nobody will notice.' I can see that happening," she said.
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