Nova Scotia

Just returned to Canada? Here's what you need to know amid COVID-19

As the federal government and health leaders across the country urge anyone who has returned to Canada to self-isolate for 14 days, many businesses in Nova Scotia are helping people in self-isolation get critical supplies.

Authorities in Nova Scotia are advising people to head straight home and self-isolate

Online ordering options mean people don't necessarily have to go to a store to pick up supplies. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

As the federal government and health leaders across the country urge anyone who has returned to Canada to self-isolate for 14 days to slow the spread of COVID-19, many businesses in Nova Scotia are helping people in self-isolation get things like food, prescription medications and other supplies.

The Province of Nova Scotia is directing people returning to Canada to go straight home and avoid work, school or other public areas, even if they don't have any symptoms. That also means not taking public transit or a taxi, as well as making plans to have groceries and other supplies delivered, and not having visitors in one's home.

The province is also encouraging anyone who has recently returned to Canada to take and track their temperature daily and limit contact with the people they live with.

Nova Scotians who have travelled outside of the country and who develop a fever with a temperature of 38 C or higher and/or a cough should use the online screening tool to find out if they should call 811.

If needed, 811 will refer individuals to a COVID-19 assessment centre and they will be contacted for an appointment. The province is asking people not to go to the assessment centres unless they've been referred by 811.

How to get groceries

Atlantic Superstore offers delivery and also has a pickup service called PC Express, where orders can be placed online or over the phone at 1-844-295-8219.

Superstore has waived PC Express pickup fees and reduced the price of home-delivered items in response to the pandemic.

Costco Grocery offers two-day delivery service to some areas of the province and Walmart Grocery offers both pickup and delivery services on orders over $50.

Pete's Frootique is also offering free grocery delivery for Bedford and the Halifax peninsula.

How to get medication

Andrew Buffett, a pharmacist who owns several Guardian Pharmacy stores in Halifax, said there is "almost always" a solution to avoid people having to come into the pharmacy.

"The key is of course, don't come into the store," he said.

Buffett said if you are self-isolating, a friend, family member or neighbour can pick up your prescriptions. You can call the pharmacy ahead of time to let them know who will be doing the pickup, but he recommends not using someone over the age of 60 because of the increased risk.

Buffett said most pharmacies will have a way to take in new prescriptions, such as an app, online or over the phone. He said pharmacists can also give advice over the phone.

Shoppers Drug Mart says on its website they can arrange for free delivery of medications to your home and can help answer your questions over the phone. Shoppers is also offering consultations with doctors online.

Costco Pharmacy offers a home-delivery service.

Guardian Pharmacy has also set up a drive-up service for seniors and those who are self-isolating. People can call in and order ahead of time, whether it's prescriptions or other amenities such as toilet paper, and someone will bring it right out to your car.

Andrew Buffett, a pharmacist who owns several Guardian Pharmacy stores in Halifax, says there is 'almost always' a solution to avoid people having to come into the pharmacy to get what they need. (Rick Bowmer/The Associated Press)

"We still have too many people in the stores mulling about, so we want to get those numbers down," he said.

Guardian also has a delivery service. At Buffett's locations, he said "they're pretty overwhelmed, so the wait time is a little longer for that."

The Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists has also directed pharmacists to only provide a 30-day supply of medication.

"People are worried that they're not going to have access to their medication," Buffett said, adding the limit will make sure there's enough stock for everyone.

Facebook groups

Several Facebook groups have also been set up, like Caremongering-HFX and Caremongering-Kentville-Wolfville, where members can ask for help for things such as picking up items and delivering them.

The town of Stewiacke, N.S., has organized a free delivery service of essential items to those who self-isolate due to COVID-19.

MORE TOP STORIES

now