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Two new presumptive cases an example of why self-isolation is important

The province's fourth and fifth presumptive cases were in close contact with people who had recently travelled outside the country
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Nova Scotia's two new presumptive cases of COVID-19 are a reminder of how important it is for those returning from international destinations to self-isolate for 14 days.

The province's first three presumptive cases were announced Sunday and all had recently travelled outside of the country. One of those cases is now officially confirmed.

Early Monday afternoon it was announced that a man and women in their 50s were the fourth and fifth presumptive cases in the province. Both are from HRM and are related.

The pair were in close contact with people who had recently travelled outside the country.

Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, said the exposure to the novel coronavirus may have happened a week or two ago, which would have been before the international travel rule was put in place.

"We're just starting to investigate this and that's one of the things we'd have to look at, were appropriate rules around travellers being followed or not," he said at a Monday afternoon news conference.

Strang said self-isolation is not a recommendation, it's a requirement.

If you know someone violating a self-isolation, Strang suggests trying a polite conversation.

"To help them understand why it's important, that we can't think about ourselves, we have to think about our community," he said.

If that doesn't work you can call public health.

"If there's an order under the Health Protection Act, there is the ability, if we are aware that they are actively non-compliant, then we can actually take them a court order that they must comply," said Strang.

Strang said we're at the beginning of this and there will be more cases.

He added all the new public health measures that have been announced are to increase social distancing so we can slow down the spread of COVID-19.

"It's all about keeping as many Nova Scotians as healthy as possible, helping preserve our health care system as much as we can so all of us have access to it," he explained. "Whether it's for COVID-19 or other health issues, we need our health system to be there."

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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