Dr. Lisa Barrett urges caution as Delta variant looms

According to infectious disease specialist Dr. Lisa Barrett, it is not so much the Phase 5 recovery plan for Nova Scotia that has her concerned -- it is the Delta variant.

Barrett said the variant's impact on other parts of Canada has often coincided with public health measures being relaxed. COVID-19 related hospitalizations have alsoincreased in other provinces.

"It makes sense to me to make sure that we are a little more prudent about protection," said Barrett.

These views by Barrett came two days after Dr. Robert Strang said the next phase would see a rollback of asymptomatic testing.

"When people who are fully vaccinated, and they have no symptoms, that is a very low likelihood that they have COVID," said Strang, who added asymptomatic testing,will take place through workplace programs.

"We still need to have some asymptomatic testing for surveillance purposes," said Strang. "We have got to be looking for it."

Barrett said she was somewhat surprised.

"Am I concerned that it will all be a disaster because you don't have testing? No," said Barrett.

Barrett does she hope there will be a low threshold to trigger a scenario, that would bring back increased asymptomatic testing.

"I absolutely do," said Barrett, who also pointed out that traditional symptomatic COVID-19 testing, would continue.

Barrett is also urging allto get their vaccine shots.

"Everyone I am seeing in hospital is unvaccinated so far," said Barrett.

Barrett said more than 90 per cent of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Canada are unvaccinated.