N.S. says university student with COVID-19 didn't 'properly self-isolate'
HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia government says a university student who tested positive for COVID-19 did not "properly self-isolate" when they arrived in the province.
The province first announced the new case of COVID-19 on Monday. The case involves a student who attends Université Sainte-Anne in the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s western zone.
Concern has been growing in the municipality of Clare since the news was made public.
"As far as we knew, we thought he had done his 14 days of isolation and that he was ready to be on campus here," said Allister Surette, the university's president and vice-chancellor.
Surette says the student arrived on campus Sunday night via the university's shuttle bus. About four or five students were onboard, along with the bus driver.
All were wearing masks and seated six feet apart.
"In this case here, the individual had very little contact. Our indications are that there's very, very low risk and the individual is isolating on campus," Surette said.
Third-year student Adrien Comeau says education for communities is key.
He's a local resident and says, since the positive case was announced, he's already been questioned about self-isolating.
"People are looking at me and saying, 'Well, you go to Universite Sainte-Anne, that means that you need to isolate, that means you shouldn't be in public,'" Comeau said. "But really, I have not been at campus in the last four months or so, so I have not been in contact with that person at all."
Public health is working to identify close contacts.
"The positive and probable cases we announced yesterday are the reason we have a testing strategy in place for post-secondary students. It's helping us detect and manage cases early," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, in a statement.
"The testing strategy does not replace the need to follow other public health measures. The combination of testing, self-isolating and digital check-ins will help to ensure the safety of all students, faculty and staff, and their neighbouring communities."
Under the Health Protection Act, anyone who travels to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic provinces is required to self-isolate for 14 days. Those who fail to do so can be slapped with a fine of $1,000.
Last week, a St. Francis Xavier University student from outside the Atlantic region was fined $1,000 for failing to self-isolate after Antigonish RCMP received a complaint.
It isn’t clear at this time whether the student who attends Université Sainte-Anne will be fined.
In addition to self-isolating, all post-secondary students entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada will be tested for COVID-19 three times during their 14-day isolation period.
The province says, even if students receive negative COVID-19 test results, they must continue to self-isolate for the full 14 days.
Students can't attend in-person classes until their testing and self-isolation is complete.
Universite Sainte-Anne isn't the only university dealing with a case of COVID-19. Dalhousie University in Halifax and Acadia University in Wolfville are each dealing with one probable case of COVID-19.
About 500 Acadia students from outside of the Atlantic bubble will arrive in Wolfville by Saturday.
"We decided to push back our start date for classes," said Scott Duguay, Acadia's vice-provost of students, recruitment and enrolment management. "We only begin on Sept. 21, so that gives us the first two weeks to really work out the kinks and make sure we're self-isolating properly."
NO NEW COVID-19 CASES
The province reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and one more case is considered resolved, leaving six active cases in Nova Scotia.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 767 Nova Scotia tests on Monday.
To date, Nova Scotia has 76,211 negative test results.
There are 1,085 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, but 1,014 cases are now considered resolved, and 65 people have died, leaving six active cases in the province.
No one is currently in hospital as a result of COVID-19.
The province's confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.
Sixty-one per cent of cases are female and 39 per cent are male.
There are cases confirmed across the province, but most have been identified in the central zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality.
The provincial government says cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated in Panorama, the province’s electronic information system.
The numbers reflect where a person lives, and not where their sample was collected.
- western zone: 55 cases
- central zone: 909 cases
- northern zone: 67 cases
- eastern zone: 54 cases
SYMPTOMS AND SELF-ISOLATION
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.
Anyone who travels to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic region is also required to self-isolate for 14 days and must fill out a self-declaration form before coming to the province.
Residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are not required to self-isolate when travelling to Nova Scotia, but they must be prepared to provide proof of their place of residency at provincial borders.
Visitors from outside the Atlantic region who have already self-isolated in another Atlantic province for 14 days may travel to Nova Scotia without having to self-isolate again.
Anyone who experiences one of the following symptoms is encouraged to take an online test to determine if they should call 811 for further assessment:
- fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
- cough or worsening of a previous cough
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
- muscle aches
- nasal congestion/runny nose
- hoarse voice
- unusual fatigue
- loss of sense of smell or taste
- red, purple or blueish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to Sept. 6.