Nova Scotia has identified one new case of COVID-19 in the province and is expanding its testing to detect community spread of the virus, according to chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang.
The new case is travel-related, according to the provincial Health Department.
The province is currently giving a briefing that CBC Nova Scotia is carrying live in the above video.
Nova Scotia now has five confirmed and 10 presumptive cases of COVID-19. The affected people range in age from mid-20s to mid-70s.
Nova Scotia public health officials have been in contact with these individuals and are working to identify others who may have come in close contact with them.
Those individuals are also being directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.
To date, Nova Scotia has 1,546 negative test results and is testing daily.
Strang said Nova Scotia continues to work with other provinces and the federal government to secure medical supplies, including N-95 masks. He said the province has also reached out to the construction industry to see if it can contribute N-95 masks that aren’t being used.
He said due to the global demand for masks and equipment, it’s important that the use of masks is only done when appropriate and necessary.
Support for small businesses
Geoff MacLellan, minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, said the province will provide $161 million in cash and credit for small and medium sized businesses.
The minister said this first wave of financial support is intended for those most immediately impacted by the pandemic.
He said some government loans and business related fees will be deferred for the next couple of months.
MacLellan also announced funding for companies to complete rural internet projects to help employees and people with small businesses who are now working from home. The minister said this will help with social distancing as well as give people better access to e-health services.
Premier Stephen McNeil said he’s heard the anxiety coming from the fishing, farming and construction industries. He said help is coming for workers in those industries to do their jobs safely and keep Nova Scotia’s economy going.
McNeil also said that student loan payments will be suspended for six months.
The premier said his government will be announcing an “aggressive package” of capital projects next week.