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Social Distancing: We’re all in this together

Chances are most conversations you’re having turn to COVID-19 and how it impacts your life, and for good reason:

As COVID-19 remains a threat to our communities, Nova Scotians must adapt to a new normal. We must continue social distancing – staying at least two metres (six feet) away from others in public places. With the arrival of warmer weather, schools closed and many people working from home, it’s still important to obey the guidelines laid out by public health: sticking within your family bubble and only gathering in groups of five or less.

A family bubble is made up of two households that can get together without social distancing. It’s a mutually agreed upon arrangement and the two households must be exclusive to one another. Social gatherings of five or less people are currently permitted, as long as at least two metres (six feet) of space is maintained. Remember, no hugs or handshakes allowed with people outside of your family bubble.

When picking a household to bubble with, it’s vitally important to consider the age, occupation and health condition of each household member. For example, if you’re an essential worker interacting with the public on a daily basis and you’re bubbling with a senior who has a compromised immune system, it could put the senior at risk.

Measures like these keep us away from loved ones, which can be very hard. But it’s the only way to protect our families, friends and communities in the weeks and months to come. Here are a few things to remember.

Seniors and COVID-19

Seniors with pre-existing medical conditions are more prone to the infection than other age groups. More than 90% of the Canadians who have died from the virus are over 60, according to Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer. This makes a strong case for social distancing when it comes to seniors.

But social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. You can stay connected with older loved ones through technology (i.e., phone calls, video chats). Or adopt a senior and make a new friend. A regular call will lift the spirits of someone you care about.

Nova Scotia and COVID-19

The good news is that Nova Scotia is testing more people per capita than any other province. The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab is conducting up to 1,000 tests daily and operating 24-7 to ensure rapid results. Large-scale testing helps identify positive cases, which will help us continue to flatten the curve.

Many of us have made (or heard stories about relatives who have made) sacrifices during challenging times, such as wars or natural disasters. Right now, social distancing is a sacrifice we can all make. It may be challenging, but it’s a small ask to ensure our lives and communities stay safe.

If you have general questions about COVID-19, visit the provincial coronavirus info hub or call the toll-free federal info line at 1-833-784-4397.

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