Nova Scotia's top doctor doesn't believe the province will return to a pre-COVID normal, saying he expects a new normal will take its place.
Dr. Robert Strang says his team is currently putting together a plan for what that will look like when the time comes.
"We're working on this now with other government departments and we're considering all the elements of our pandemic response to determine what transitioning to living with COVID-19 looks like for things like testing and contact tracing," said the chief medical officer of health at Wednesday's COVID-19 briefing.
He says one of the most asked questions he faces from residents is about when the province will return to normal.
"While I do not believe that we'll ever return to a pre-COVID normal, I do think that there will be a new normal that will see us living more freely and openly with COVID-19," he said. "Eventually, we will approach COVID much like influenza and other respiratory viruses."
"The lessons that the world has learned from COVID will forever change the way we manage and respond all of these respiratory viruses."
As of Wednesday, Nova Scotia has entered Phase 4 of its reopening plan.
It's hoped we can reach Phase 5 by the end of August.
"The next phase of our reopening will likely mean few or no restrictions, and no mandatory personal public health measures," Strang explained. "There may be certain settings or situations where some precautions are required, at least in the short-term."
He said more details will be released as Nova Scotia approaches its minimum target for Phase 5, which is having 75 per cent of the total population fully immunized.
As of Wednesday, 44.7 per cent of us have had both doses of vaccine.