COVID-19 – Update March 26


  • 5 new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia
  • Most of these cases are related to travel or close contact of previously announced cases
  • 1 of the new cases cannot currently be linked to travel or previous cases
  • Public Health is further investigating to determine points of exposure; one possible circumstance was a large social gathering of around 50 people on St. Patrick’s Day this year
  • This indicates a possible case of community spread but is not yet confirmed
  • 73 total cases in Nova Scotia as of today, March 26
  • The number of cases will continue to rise, as many are now returning from March Break, or from wintering abroad
  • Anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia, not just Canada, MUST self-isolate for 14 days when they return to Nova Scotia
  • This is a novel virus, meaning anyone is at risk. Everyone must exercise precaution.
  • Stay home. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid going out to stores except for essential needs.
  • Accurate, up-to-date, comprehensive information can be found at

Provincial Government:

  • Anyone referred by 811 to a COVID-19 assessment site, WILL be tested for the virus
  • Testing will also begin on patients in hospital where symptoms of COVID-19 is suspected, and where clinically appropriate
  • A maintenance worker at a Halifax transit bus garage in Burnside tested positive for Covid-19; close contacts have been immediately tested, and there’s no indication of broad exposure at the facility
  • This case does not indicate any change to the low level risk of taking the bus as public transit
  • People planning to come to Nova Scotia for social purposes or non-essential travel must stay back in their province
  • Health care workers, transport drivers moving goods and services, people accessing required medical care etc. are exempt from this rule; their travel is an essential need
  • Veterinary services are being added to the Health Protection Act’s essential services list; these services can continue to operate for urgent and emergent care
  • Nova Scotia Government is working with the federal procurement program to secure necessary medical supplies in response to Covid-19
  • Government is also working on a support package to dovetail with the federal government’s $107 billion financial aid plan
  • The following hospitals are now designated for Covid-19 inpatient treatment: the QEII Halifax Infirmary site, Dartmouth General Hospital, Yarmouth Regional Hospital, Cape Breton Regional Hospital, St. Martha’s Regional Hospital, and Colchester East Hants Health Centre.
  • Nova Scotia Power is deferring payments for three months; customers will not be penalized for non-payment of their power bill for 90 days
  • Amendments being made to Nova Scotia Power’s HEAT Fund (a program that helps low-income Nova Scotians pay their energy bills)
  • HEAT application deadline extended indefinitely, and application restriction of every 24 months being waived
  • Meaning customers who applied in 2019 can reapply in 2020
  • NSHA updates
  • 17 primary sites operating to test for COVID-19
  • 6 hospitals have units now designated for COVID-19 inpatient treatment
  • 70% occupancy for these inpatient beds, when normally it’s at 100% occupancy
  • This is because of temporarily limiting services to only urgent care, in order to free up space to treat Covid-19 patients, and streamlining services to other health centres for the time being
  • Adult ICUs now have 50% occupancy
  • QEII lab has greatly expanded their testing capacity; over 400 tests roughly being completed per day whereas just a couple of months ago, that number of tests would have taken two weeks to complete
  • Substantial efforts to enhance mental health and addictions services during this time via virtual care, while reserving face-to-face services for urgent or emergent care
  • IWK updates
  • Have had to reduce most services to only urgent or emergent care
  • Only one support person being allowed for most visits; sometimes none at all depending on the seriousness of the matter
  • Mental health services has largely moved to a virtual platform for the time being
  • IWK Services will continue for patients coming in from neighbouring provinces; they’ll be expedited to get across the border easily

Federal Government:

  • Canadian government strongly opposes US proposal of placing American troops at Canadian-American borders to intercept illegal migrants
  • Canada values its long, un-militarized border with the United States
  • Financial support from federal government’s $107 billion Covid-19 aid package will come through as soon as early April
  • Previous EI relief streams have been combined into one, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) which will provide $2000 a month for four months, for people who are off work and without an income as a result of Covid-19
  • Boost to Canada Child Benefit will be seen in May
  • Supplementing GST credit for low-income Canadians
  • Kirsten Hillman appointed as the new ambassador to the United States
  • Approximately 10,000 Canadians are being tested for Covid-19 daily
  • All non-essential travellers returning to Canada must go into mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days
  • Yesterday, the federal government’s plan to help Canadians, save jobs, and support our economy was adopted by parliament. With more generous measures to help even more Canadians, now valued at $107 billion (up from $82 billion announced last week) to support people and businesses. This includes
    • The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which will provide $2,000 a month, for up to 4 months, to people who are not getting paid as a result of COVID-19. An application portal will launch as quickly as possible, and people should start receiving money within 10 days of applying.
    • Boosting the Canada Child Benefit for families in May.
    • Supplementing the GST Credit, which is sent to low-income Canadians every few months.
    • Six-month, interest-free moratorium on their Canada Student Loans.
  • There is a text message scam going around on the new Emergency Response Benefit. The government’s website is the best place to find reliable information.  Canadians are encouraged to visit for more information.
  • The Prime Minister spoke with G20 leaders earlier today. COVID-19 is a global crisis and it demands a global response, to protect people and the economy. This means ensuring public health agencies have the resources they need, working together to develop a vaccine and treatments, expanding Canada’s manufacturing capacity for critical medical equipment, and working to keep the supply chains moving to get that equipment to the people who need it.
  • The Prime Minister also announced the appointment of Kirsten Hillman as the new ambassador to the United States.
  • The federal government will be implementing the Quarantine Act to keep all Canadians safe. This includes a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all Canadians returning home from abroad.

*All Nova Scotians are encouraged to find accurate and up-to-date information at

*The Premier, alongside senior public health officials, will continue hosting regular press conferences to update the general public on the evolving situation. A press conference will take place tomorrow at 3:00PM and will be live-streamed. Everyone is encouraged to tune in via official Nova Scotia Government Channels. These channels include:


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