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Some HRM communities showing early signs of possible community spread

'This increase in COVID-19 activity is a warning sign,' said Dr. Robert Strang
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Dr. Robert Strang at a COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The province's chief medical officer of health is concerned about early signs of possible community spread of COVID-19 in multiple Halifax Regional Municipality communities.

"We now have several small clusters of cases in the Halifax area for which we have not yet been able to clearly identify the original source of infection," explained Dr. Robert Strang at a briefing on Tuesday. "Investigations are ongoing. We are monitoring things closely and doing broad testing."

"We will take early and stronger action if necessary," he cautioned.

He's asking anyone who lives in Halifax, Dartmouth, Sackville or Lawrencetown to get tested, even if they don't have symptoms.

"The primary assessment centres in the Central Zone have increased capacity, so please go online to book an appointment for a symptomatic or asymptomatic test if you're from one of those communities," Strang urged.

In addition, pop-up testing is taking place and locations can be found here.

And you can find out where the Public Health Mobile Units will be testing here.

Strang said he doesn't want Nova Scotians to panic, but we do need to pay attention.

"This increase in COVID-19 activity is a warning sign. We have been in this position before and we've worked together to reduce case numbers," he said.

He suggests focusing on what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe, like not travelling, limiting social contacts, wearing masks, getting tested regularly, staying home if you don't feel well and getting vaccinated when eligible.

"If we all do what we need to do now and tighten up COVID protocols in our personal, family, community and work lives, we will reduce the likelihood that we will need stronger, broader public health restrictions," he said.

"We are asking Nova Scotians to once again step up to the COVID challenge and we are confident that you will."

At Tuesday's briefing, the province also announced it would be restricting non-essential travellers for four weeks as of Thursday.

Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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