Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia updates COVID-19 symptoms list, discourages wearing gloves

Nova Scotia is confirming two new cases of COVID-19 and is expanding the list of symptoms being screened for the virus. Nova Scotia's top health official is discouraging people from using gloves and says "good, frequent handwashing" is a better option.

Dr. Robert Strang says gloves gives people 'false sense of security,' leads to less handwashing

Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said the decision to expand the COVID-19 symptom list is being adopted by all provinces and territories. (CBC)

Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health is discouraging people from wearing gloves as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Gloves give people a false sense of security and they're much less likely to wash their hands," Dr. Robert Strang said during a press briefing on Friday.

Strang said people should rely on "good, frequent handwashing" instead of wearing gloves. 

Nova Scotia confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and expanded the list of symptoms for which people would qualify for a COVID-19 test.

Both of the new cases cases are related to the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax, affecting one staff member and one resident. The province has had 1,048 confirmed cases and 58 deaths to date.

Strang said the expanded symptom list is being adopted by all provinces and territories.

"These are very common symptoms, and just because you have one of those, I don't want to create undue stress. In all likelihood, if you have these symptoms, it's not because of COVID, but it's very important we test you to rule out COVID," Strang said.

People with one or more of the following updated list of symptoms are asked to visit 811's website:

  • Fever (chills, sweats).
  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Headache.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Sneezing.
  • Nasal congestion/runny nose.
  • Hoarse voice.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Unusual fatigue.
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste.
  • Red, purple or bluish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers that do not have a clear cause.

Strang said Nova Scotia has done well with the first wave of COVID-19, but he said the province is likely to see a second wave in the fall or winter.

'You'll be able to get a haircut soon'

Premier Stephen McNeil ended the press briefing by talking about the economy.

He said more businesses that were forced to shut down, like hair salons, would be opening soon.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said businesses that weren't forced to shut down can reopen as long as their plan complies with public health guidelines. (CBC)

"They're figuring it out. The shop may look a little different the next time you're in for a haircut, the stylist may be wearing a mask, but you will be able to get a haircut soon," McNeil said.

Businesses that weren't forced to shut down can reopen any time "as long as you have a plan that complies [with] public health guidelines," McNeil said.

20 active cases at Northwood

The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 427 Nova Scotia tests on Thursday.

Two long-term care homes and seniors facilities in the province have active cases in Nova Scotia, including Northwood, where 16 residents and four staff have active cases. One other facility has a resident with an active case.

Eight people are currently in the hospital and four of those are in intensive care, while 961 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the province.

There are 29 active COVID-19 cases in the province.

Halifax to resume paid parking, enforcement

Starting June 1, paid parking and enforcement will resume in the Halifax area.

The municipality suspended paid parking in late March in response to COVID-19.

All parking meters will be on and enforced in all areas across the municipality.

HotSpot, the app that allows people to pay for parking at meters and some parking lots, will be reactivated.

The Nova Scotia Health Authority's COVID-19 map for Friday, May 22. (Nova Scotia Health Authority)

All time-restricted parking, like one and two-hour parking, plus temporary and permanent loading zones, will also be timed and enforced.

Temporary 15-minute parking zones have been installed to facilitate the short-term pick up needs of restaurants and other business.

All parking permits expiring in March through to June will remain valid until city customer service centres reopen. This includes monthly and residential parking permits. Parking permit zones will be enforced.