'There may be some testing fatigue': Low case numbers in Nova Scotia a promising sign, but testing is down
HALIFAX -- For the second day in a row, new COVID-19 cases are down in Nova Scotia, but testing for the virus has also decreased.
On Tuesday, the lab processed 5,023 tests. Less than 4,000 were processed Monday and about 4,300 on Sunday.
That's compared to the more than 8,500 tests on Friday. Earlier this month, the lab processed more than 10,000 tests in a single day.
"I think part of it (is) there may be some testing fatigue, part of it the weather is nice, part of it, the number of positive cases have declined. So the number of exposure sites and prompts for people to go and get tested have reduced as well,” says Dr. Todd Hatchette, Nova Scotia Health Authority's Chief of Microbiology.
Hatchette says the reason why testing fatigue is a bit concerning is that, until there is a fully vaccinated population, health officials are going to have to rely on testing to detect the virus.
"Nova Scotians have to realize that well into the summer, until we get two doses of vaccine in everyone, regular testing is going to be part of COVID life,” Hatchette says.
"Get tested often if you're out and about having more contacts. Stay home if you're feeling sick, even with one mild symptom,” says Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
In January, the Halifax Stanfield International Airport submitted a proposal to start testing travellers for the virus site. The airport said Wednesday that it is encouraged by discussions with the provincial government.
"The government has a very good testing program in place right now across the province but we do feel like adding testing at the airport is an added layer of security for our community, particularly until we see a level of vaccination that everyone is comfortable with,” said Tiffany Chase, spokesperson for the airport.
The province reported 37 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday.
Several employees at Walmart in Bayers Lake have also recently tested positive for the virus.
“Out of an abundance of caution, when an associate who works in one of our stores is confirmed as having tested positive, associates identified as being in close prolonged contact are directed to self-isolate,” Felicia Fefer Manager, Corporate Affairs with Walmart Canada Corp., said in a statement.
“When associates identified as being in close prolonged contact are directed to self-isolate, these associates are paid while they isolate for two weeks. We also provide flexible and fair options for other associates who choose to stay home for their own reasons. All associates also have access to free 24-hour online physician care.”
Walmart says safety continues to be a top priority and that they take measures to support the well-being of customers and staff.