Nurses at Cape Breton hospital told to self-isolate after coming in contact with COVID-19 patient
SYDNEY, N.S. -- More than two dozen nurses at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital have been told to self-isolate after coming in contact with a patient with COVID-19.
CTV News has confirmed that three doctors and three respiratory therapists have also been told to self-isolate.
Dr. Margaret Fraser, a doctor at the hospital, says physicians are now required to take their temperature at the beginning and end of their shift.
They must also answer a questionnaire about symptoms and wear a mask at all times while working.
The patient died at the hospital on Monday due to complications from COVID-19.
The woman was in her 70s and had underlying medical conditions.
She was the first person to die from COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.
Dr. Fraser says the initial tests showed the patient tested negative, but the test came back positive a second time around.
"Unfortunately, this patient was not on what are called droplet precautions, which would have necessitated the use of gowns, masks, gloves and face shields for the staff associated with that person's care, and that led to this exposure."
According to family of residents at the Northside Guest Home, the woman was a resident there.
Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, called the situation at the island's largest hospital a significant strain on the health-care system.
"We are looking at ways we could get potentially get people back to sooner, with some careful measures around monitoring temperatures and daily screening," Dr. Strang said.
The head of the NSGEU is calling on the province to provide more protection for front-line workers.
"We need to get a handle on the testing because the health-care workers are at risk if they're going to be treating people with precautions one day and then ordered not to treat them with precautions the next day," said NSGEU president Jason MacLean. "Everybody is getting sick."