Nova Scotia College of Medical Laboratory Technologists

NSHA COVID19 UPDATE

COVID19 UPDATE

Coronavirus – Update #28         April 2, 2020

Current situation

As of today, April 2, Nova Scotia has 193 positive cases of COVID-19 in people ranging in age from under 10 to over 80. Four individuals are currently in hospital and 16 individuals have recovered. Most cases are connected to travel or a known case. There is one confirmed case of community transmission and more cases are expected. Read full news release. There have been 7,446 negative test results. A map and graphic presentation of the case data is now available at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/dataTesting numbers are updated daily athttps://novascotia.ca/coronavirus.

Current interim Public Health Measures

On March 31, the interim Public Health Measures document was updated. View updated document. Please note, updates on these measures will be provided as we receive them.

Our response

Public Health advising of potential COVID-19 exposures

Public Health is advising of potential exposure to COVID-19 on Sunday, March 15 at Eagles Funeral Home in Westville and the Alma Fire Hall. This notification is being made out of an abundance of caution as Public Health now starts contact tracing 48 hours before symptom onset. These events fell within that 48-hour period. People who may have been exposed at the funeral home or fire hall are just past the 14-day period where they should self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If you were at those locations and you have developed any symptoms of COVID-19 since then, please call 811. This will help Public Health to identify any connected cases and will aid in containment efforts. Read more.

Mental Health and Addictions launches online tool with help from foundations

Mental Health and Addictions has launched another mental health tool for Nova Scotians called

TAO (Therapy Assistance Online). TAO Self-Help is a free and private online resource that is available to all adults in Nova Scotia. It includes interactive activities and videos for people experiencing challenges with mental health or substance use. People have the option to choose topics to explore and go at their own pace. This online tool is made possible, in part, by QEII Foundation donors, including RBC Foundation. Read more. For more information, or to sign up for TAO please visit: taoconnect.org/what_is_tao/ns.

Point of Care Risk Assessment and PPE

Health care providers should be conducting a Point of Care Risk Assessment (PCRA) at each patient encounter to determine what PPE is required, if any. The diagram below outlines this process:

PPE When and What to Use

If you answered NO to the above questions, PPE is not required. In these cases:

      Perform hand hygiene

      according to the 4 Moments of Hand Hygiene

      any time you feel your hands may have become contaminated

      You do not need PPE for:

-          Charting on the patient record

-          Talking to the patient from the doorway of their room (outside of two metres if on droplet precautions)

-          Doing vital signs, physical assessments, giving medications, walking with them, if the patient is not on precautions

-          Walking around the unit/clinic

If the answer to the PCRA questions was YES, follow instructions for putting on and taking off PPE properly. View video with Dr. Lynn Johnson demonstrating proper procedure.

For more information and resources on point of care risk assessments, appropriate use of PPE and much more, visit NSHA’s COVID-19 Hub at https://covid19hub.nshealth.ca/covid-19

New online mental health services available

NSHA is offering new online mental health services available without a referral. The pandemic can increase stress and anxiety and it's OK to reach out for help. Check out what's available here. If you encounter staff who are experiencing anxiety or need help coping, referring them to these free online tools may be helpful. Please note: Our outpatient services, Central Intake line and Mental Health Mobile Crisis Teams are also operational and available to support people in their time of need.

Eating Disorders Nova Scotia offering free online peer support

Eating Disorders Nova Scotia online peer support is free, pro-recovery and accessible across the province. No diagnosis or referral is needed. Online chats are offered on Sundays and Wednesdays from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Online group meetings take place Mondays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Family & Friends peer support is also offered. For more information, email info@eatingdisordersns.ca or visitwww.eatingdisordersns.ca.

Occupational Health/People Services

NSHA recruits additional workers to support COVID-19

An important part of NSHA’s preparation for COVID-19 is to ensure we have groups of staff trained and prepared to deliver care to Nova Scotians during the pandemic. NSHA has issued open call postings allowing us to seek workers of all types.  The postings are open to external people only, and will allow NSHA to hire casual relief employees that can be deployed to support care and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

·         Open Call for Nursing (Req ID 61275)

·         Open Call for Healthcare (Req ID 62884)

·         Open Call for Administrative Professionals (Req ID 62741)

·         Open Call for Support (Req ID 62781)

Through our work with Department of Health and Wellness, applicants will be asked their willingness to work in long term care and publicly funded health care entities across Nova Scotia. This will provide us greater flexibility in deploying needed resources across the health system.  We encourage all NSHA employees to share the above open call links to as many sources as possible in order to gather applicants and build our pool of workers. Learn more.

Social distancing at work

Staff and physicians who are continuing to work from our facilities should observe social distancing guidelines to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 among co-workers.

Active monitoring for symptoms

Healthcare workers should ensure they are practicing active monitoring on a daily basis.  This includes taking your temperature twice daily and observing any signs of a fever and/or new or worsening cough, sneezing, shortness of breath, sore throat, congestion and runny nose.   Please find attached a document to help you identify and/or track symptoms you may be experiencing.  Some symptoms of COVID-19 are subtle and as such it is important to ensure you are aware of these as quickly as possible.  If you are experiencing symptoms DO NOT REPORT TO WORK.Notify your manager and contact the Occupational Health line 1-833-750-0632.

New/Updated guidance documents and resources

·         COVID-19 Oncology Protocol

·         Clinical Pathway Suspected/Confirmed COVID-19 Long-term care

·         End of Life Symptom Management Flow Chart for COVID-19

REMINDER:Free parking for staff, physicians and patients

Parking for staff, physicians and patients at NSHA sites is now free. This is in recognition of the extra commitment to patient care of staff and physicians during COVID-19. NSHA staff and physicians that currently pay for parking by payroll deduction will not have further deductions, beginning with the upcoming pay, until further notice.  Their last deduction was pay period 7, with a pay date of March 26.  Physicians who have not already paid for April parking will not receive a bill for this month or need to pay. 

Central Zone staff and physicians who pay for parking by credit card had their March payment automatically processed on March 26, and all further automatic parking payments have been suspended until further notice.  Staff and physicians who already prepaid for their parking from April onwards will have a credit reflected on their accountIf NSHA staff and physicians would like to redirect their parking payroll deduction to one of Nova Scotia’s health care foundations, visit http://webapps.nshealth.ca/FoundationsPayrollDeductions to learn more about payroll deduction giving.

NSHA has sent out a link to all the resources that they have shared with NSHA staff. The links are divided by categories for easier ability to locate updates of interest.

http://www.cdha.nshealth.ca/coronavirus

Get in Touch

380 Bedford Highway, Suite 202
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3M 2L4

Email: info@nscmlt.org

Phone: 902-453-9605

Toll Free: 888-897-4095 (NS only)

Fax: 902-454-3535