Disease expert explains how to self-monitor your COVID-19 infection

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Premier Tim Houston said Thursday Nova Scotians will have to deal with their own cases of COVID-19 in light of milder symptoms and thousands of new cases across the province in recent weeks.

Dr. Lisa Barrett, an infectious disease physician and researcher at Nova Scotia Health and Dalhousie University, said she believes people can do it safely by following public health rules.

“Staying home is important. If this is one of the take-home tests that are positive in Nova Scotia you don’t need to take a confirmatory test, but you must report your test. “she said on Thursday.

Public Health has asked people to do this by emailing their name, date of birth, Medicare card number and contact information to [email protected]

“Then it’s about staying home, keeping yourself well, monitoring your own symptoms, and also contacting your contacts in the community who would be considered close contacts,” Barrett said.

Who is a close contact?

She said some people might not want to make these calls, but she hopes most people will graciously take the news and appreciate the warning so they can take the same action.

She said close contacts are people with whom you have been indoors, unmasked, within 6 feet of and in this situation for 15 minutes or more. “If someone coughs or sneezes on you, someone you care for at home, take it all very seriously,” she said.

Barrett said if you can’t remember everyone you’ve been so close with without a mask and indoors over the past 48 hours, it’s a sign you’re seeing too many people.

“In Nova Scotia at the moment, you can reasonably expect to encounter the virus,” she said.

She said sticking to a small group of around ten people helps reduce the risk of exposure. Hopefully, she said, this will keep the number of hospitalizations low and manageable. She said this was part of an abandonment of the list of exposure sites and the follow-up of each case.

Masks, distance and layers of defense

Barrett said the vaccine should be seen as one of the tools in your COVID protection toolkit, but not your only defense. Using a properly fitted N95 mask also helps, she said.

“You don’t want to feel the air coming in and out of the sides of your mask,” she said. “A practical strategy is to line your surgical or procedural mask – those blues and whites. Tie the sides of the first one so that it comes close to your face, then place the second on top to press the other closer. of your face. “

Public health also said on Thursday it would no longer provide COVID-19 recovery letters due to the increased number of cases.

Self-monitoring people can feel well if they are healthy 10 days after symptoms start or when they test positive.

People who are immunocompromised or have severe illness requiring ICU care should wait 20 days.

“Some people may continue to have a persistent cough, especially if they are prone to a chronic cough. However, if they meet the above criteria, they are no longer contagious and can stop safely isolating themselves,” public health said.

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