Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health says the most recent case of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia was a home-care nurse in the province’s central health zone.
The new case was announced Monday.
In a news briefing Wednesday, Dr. Robert Strang said the individual tested positive for COVID-19 in early May and had recovered. He said the individual’s most recent test results were inconclusive, and public health is working with their local and national labs “to see if it’s a true case of reinfection or not.”
“In the meantime, out of an abundance of caution, we are assuming that this is a new positive case and taking the appropriate public health measures,” he said.
Strang said this case has “implications for our understanding of immunity.”
“[It’s] making it more likely that we can’t count on a one-time infection producing lifelong immunity,” he said. “Anybody who was infected in the first wave, we can’t just assume they have immunity now.”
It’s unclear how the nurse may have been infected.
Strang said the person wore full personal protective equipment and followed infection controls while working. He said public health is following up with their household and social contacts, and have been working with the home-care agency assessing each home-care client to determine their risk of exposure.
Few additional details were given about the recent risk of possible exposure at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, but Strang said it’s a “low-risk environment.”
“Just because you’ve been in the same facility at the same time doesn’t mean you’ve been exposed,” he said.
Post-secondary students doing well
In recent weeks, 3,200 out-of-province post-secondary students have arrived in Nova Scotia and 6,000 tests have been completed.
While four students have been fined for not self-isolating, Strang said most of the out-of-province students are either still self-isolating or have completed their self-isolation requirements. He said compliance for digital check-ins is very good.
“And the fact that we have only had three cases among the first 3,200 students bodes well. That’s good news for all of us,” said Strang.
He said this shows that the risk from post-secondary students is low and that the province’s self-isolation and testing strategy is working. Each student from outside the Atlantic bubble is required to self-isolate for 14 days and complete three COVID-19 tests before they are permitted to attend class or go into the wider community.