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COVID specialist 'glad' about Nova Scotians still wanting to manage virus

While some people no longer want to hear about COVID-19, infectious disease specialist Dr. Lisa Barrett is glad some people are still interested in properly mitigating cases
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Nova Scotia reported 22 new deaths related to COVID-19 in its most recent weekly update

A Halifax infectious disease specialist is "glad" some people in Nova Scotia still want to do the right thing when it comes to COVID-19, even as others express their fatigue from hearing about the virus.

Dalhousie University's Dr. Lisa Barrett said based on the questions she's receiving from the community, many people want to move onward from COVID-19.

"But there are a lot of people out there who are getting COVID and they need and want some advice and directions," she told The Todd Veinotte Show. "But also a lot of questions about, 'How long should I stay in isolation?' and, 'What's the right thing to do?'

"While I think people are tired of talking about it to a certain extent, I also think that there's a desire, still, to do the right thing with a lot of people."

Even though the virus is likely no longer on the top of many people's minds, Dr. Barrett said there are still people who are trying to navigate positive infections in the correct way.

As Nova Scotia moved towards "living with COVID-19" this spring, public health took a step back and began shifting to weekly reporting of virus data.

Dr. Barrett said she understands there might be people out there who are worried about that shift, but she recognizes a lot of people now have more knowledge and have the ability to respond to the virus amid fewer provincial updates.

"I'm glad that people are looking around and wondering about public health because that tells me that people are still interested in making sure they're doing the right thing," she said. "I think that's really important. We hear about all the people who are tired of it and don't want to talk about it anymore. But it's important to know there's also a lot of people who are still interested in, not being obsessed with it, but doing the right thing."

According to an Angus Reid Institute study released in March, Canadians were divided about provinces lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

In Atlantic Canada, 40 per cent of respondents said their province was lifting restrictions too quickly. However, 42 per cent said restrictions were being lifted at the right time, while 18 per cent wanted them lifted more quickly.

The study indicates British Columbians were the Canadians who were most onboard with their province lifting restrictions, where 49 per cent of respondents said it was the right time.

But even with restrictions and mandates lifting across the country, Canadians in several provinces were still in favour of measures like vaccine passports, mandatory COVID-19 testing for international travellers and masking.

Eighty-one per cent of respondents in Atlantic Canada selected "support" or "strongly support" when it comes to wearing masks in public indoor spaces.

The study also shows 71 per cent of Atlantic Canadian respondents selected those options when it came to mandating vaccine passports to enter restaurants and stores.

While Nova Scotia lifted restrictions at the end of March, the province is still reporting thousands of COVID-19 cases — but that number is slightly dropping.

In Nova Scotia's last COVID-19 weekly update released on May 5, there were 3,415 PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week, down from 5,436 positive tests recorded the week prior.

The province also reported 22 new deaths related to the virus in the update.


Chris Stoodley

About the Author: Chris Stoodley

Chris was born and raised in Halifax. After graduating from the journalism program at King's, he started as CityNews Halifax's weekend editor.
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