N.S. to lift remaining COVID-19 community restrictions on Wednesday

COVID-19

Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer of Health has announced that all remaining COVID-19 restrictions in the community will be removed as of 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday.

Dr. Robert Strang says this is the right time because the province's high vaccine coverage and low risk of severe disease from Omicron variants make smaller waves of COVID-19 variants over the summer manageable.

He says the pandemic isn't over, but Nova Scotians have the tools and resources to make the right decisions to keep each other safe.

Most restrictions in high-risk settings will remain in place.

Among the restrictions to be lifted on Wednesday, isolation shifts from being mandatory to strongly recommended for people who test positive for COVID-19.

To align with the policy at hospitals, designated caregivers and visitors at long-term care, corrections facilities, shelters, and transition houses will no longer need proof of vaccination to visit

The province is also shifting from a weekly COVID-19 report to monthly, which will be posted online.

The first monthly report will be for June and available on July 15th.

Government says that the COVID-19 dashboard will continue to be updated weekly.


Effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 6:

Isolation

  • isolation shifts from being mandatory to strongly recommended for people who test positive for COVID-19
  • it is also strongly recommended that people who have symptoms such as a cough, sore throat or fever isolate until feeling better
  • it is still important for people with symptoms to avoid high-risk settings and people at higher risk
  • if a workplace has occupational health policies that are stricter than the general public health recommendations, such as mandatory masking or isolation requirements, people must continue to follow those policies.

Masks

  • will shift from strongly recommended to optional
  • masks are still strongly recommended for people who are ill or in a crowded indoor setting
  • for people who have COVID-19 symptoms but cannot isolate, it is strongly recommended they wear a well-fitted mask in indoor public places, on public transit and crowded areas
  • it is each person's own decision whether to wear a mask, weighing their risk factors and comfort and those of people around them.

Testing

  • people with symptoms will still have access to COVID-19 testing at testing centres across the province
  • people with symptoms who are in a low-risk category in their self-assessment will have access to rapid tests only and will not receive a PCR test whether or not they test positive on a rapid test
  • higher risk people and those who work or live in higher-risk congregate settings still have access to PCR testing, and it is still recommended
  • Nova Scotia will no longer offer testing for those without COVID-19 symptoms
  • rapid tests will continue to be available for pickup at public libraries and MLA offices, but people who are sick should not go.

Long-Term Care, Corrections Facilities, Shelters and Transition Houses

  • to align with the policy at hospitals, designated caregivers and visitors will no longer need proof of vaccination to visit
  • designated caregivers and visitors will be able to remove their masks when visiting in a private area or while outdoors
  • seven-day isolation for residents who test positive for COVID-19 continues to be required.