What can we expect from our second summer of COVID?

By Meghan Groff

The province's chief medical officer of health is “cautiously optimistic” as the weather warms up and the province's vaccine rollout is on the verge of kicking into high gear.

Dr. Robert Strang said outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities, but added there are still many factors that will determine what freedoms Nova Scotians can expect this summer.

“We still don't know have the definitive evidence that if I'm vaccinated, we don't know for sure that I can't be an asymptomatic transmitter,” explained Dr. Robert Strang at a COVID-19 briefing Tuesday. “That's really critical. The evidence that's evolving looks good, but we need to have some more definitive evidence.”

“Until we get that proof, it's very difficult to justify why we would relax the requirements for people who are vaccinated.”

Strang is also quite concerned about variant cases, which are becoming more prevalent in other provinces like Alberta and Ontario.

“I think we need to be very cognizant of maintaining strong border measures for people coming from outside of Atlantic Canada over the next few months while we see what happens with the variant, which gives us time to build that level of population immunity,” he stated.

It's expected all Nova Scotians who want one will get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June.

However, Strang said that means second doses for many won't be available until late summer and into the fall.

“So we're not out of the woods by all means,” he said. “While I'm cautiously optimistic, we're going to be living with COVID for a number of months, and probably … COVID is going to be with us for the long term.”

“We don't really know the future of that in terms of whether we're going to need a booster dose, or maybe we have kind of like a flu vaccine approach, and what type of COVID protocols we'll all have to live with, especially in the winter months.”

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