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Infectious disease expert urging Nova Scotians not to ditch their masks just yet

The province reported more than 400 new PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day in its latest weekly report.
face-mask - Getty Images
Face mask. (via Getty Images)

Ahead of Monday’s lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions and the end of the province’s state of emergency, an infectious disease expert who recently contracted COVID-19 is asking Nova Scotians to consider keeping their masks a little longer.

In an interview with CityNews, Dr. Lisa Barrett pointed out that just because the mandatory component of our public health guidelines is coming to an end, doesn’t mean recommendations around those guidelines have changed.

Among those recommendations is to keep getting tested regularly, particularly if you are going to be around immunocompromised individuals. She also encourages Nova Scotians to get boosted, wear masks in public places, and keep social contacts to a moderate level, “because if there are 25 people coming through your house every day, one mask once a week won’t matter.” 

“Most of the time, we're suggesting that PCR gets done by high-risk people or people who are symptomatic,” she explained. In Nova Scotia, those who are deemed low-risk can still take a PCR test to confirm a positive rapid test.

“We know vaccines are great for some things, but still allow transmission,” she said, while pointing out Nova Scotians are in the middle of a respiratory season. “There are a lot of people out there coming back from March Break and potentially St. Patrick’s Day [celebrations].”

Barrett was responsible for the province’s COVID-19 pop-up rapid testing sites that became the strongest testing campaign in the country. She noted “there’s a tonne of virus [activity] around right now” in the province, with the province reporting more than 400 new PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day in its latest weekly report.

“We will transmit to vulnerable people unless we make every single vulnerable person stay home,” Barrett said, pointing out the virus is still in ‘grow up mode.’ “It's gone from the terrible twos and threes with Delta to the slightly less painful but very destructively difficult teenage years. It hasn't settled into adulthood, it's changing fast [and] we can't predict it.”




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