What the top of Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 restrictions means for health-care employees

What the top of Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 restrictions means for health-care employees

When COVID-19 restrictions carry throughout Nova Scotia on Wednesday, many will stay in high-risk settings like hospitals and long-term care services.

The province introduced modifications Monday that embrace an finish to each asymptomatic testing and obligatory isolation after a constructive check outcome.

However health-care employees will nonetheless have to steer clear of work for seven days in the event that they check constructive for the virus.

“If a health-care employee is symptomatic, they will be inspired or advised to not report back to the office, and to acquire a PCR check 48 hours after their symptom onset,” mentioned Angela Keenan, director of occupational well being, security, and wellness for Nova Scotia Well being.

Keenan mentioned the province’s announcement solely means a couple of small modifications for work isolation protocols for health-care employees. Any worker parts of their “COVID danger issue” ought to go to the NSH web site to seek out the suitable tips.

Testing modifications

PCR testing will proceed for health-care employees with signs, or those that stay in a family the place another person has examined constructive, however asymptomatic speedy testing will not be obtainable.

Staff who haven’t obtained a booster dose of the vaccine and are in shut contact with somebody who has COVID will probably be required to steer clear of work for 72 hours and might return as soon as they obtain a unfavorable PCR check outcome.

These with a booster dose can proceed coming into work, however are nonetheless inspired to get a PCR check after 72 hours to make sure there was no transmission throughout the family.

These close-contact protocols have been in place since April, when modifications had been made in an effort to get health-care employees again on the job sooner amid widespread staffing shortages as a result of COVID-19 isolation guidelines.

“Our aim all through the pandemic has been to stop introduction of the virus into our high-risk settings, but additionally restrict transmission. So health-care employees have all the time had, I am going to say, a special rule e book,” Keenan mentioned. “And it is due to the susceptible sufferers and residents that we serve.”

Whereas designated caregivers and guests are not required to offer proof of vaccination, the vaccine mandate for provincial workers continues to be in place.

Keenan encourages all health-care employees to get a primary or second booster dose as quickly as they’re eligible, although public well being is advising folks wait till fall to e book their fourth dose.

Different protecting measures, like masking and bodily distancing, are nonetheless in place in high-risk settings. Keenan mentioned it is doubtless these measures will proceed for a while.

“We’re persevering with to intently monitor all of our providers and be sure that we’re offering high quality affected person care. The fact is that health-care employees are getting COVID, too. And it does have an effect on our staffing, nevertheless it’s one thing that we’ re monitoring each day,” she mentioned.