NSHA addresses "community clusters" document on social media

We are aware of Nova Scotia Health Authority information on social media that identifies some Nova Scotia postal code areas or “community clusters” where public health has identified higher rates or spread of COVID-19.
NSHA is using enhanced precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we know it is possible that people may have and be transmitting COVID-19 without having symptoms or without knowing they have been exposed themselves. The document that was shared on social media is one part of a risk assessment tool, intended to help our staff identify if extra precautions are needed to keep the patient and staff safe. People in the noted areas are still receiving care.
Here is how we use this information:
  • Staff at hospitals, clinics and primary care settings may identify people presenting for care, by their postal code, as being from one of the parts of the province where public health is currently seeing an increase of COVID-19. 
  • Given the possibility that a person in an area where transmission rates are high may have been exposed and not know it, staff can then use appropriate precautions to protect the patient and those around them during their visit.
  • In the case of surgical patients, where it is safe and appropriate to do so, a decision may be made to delay surgery briefly until the patient’s COVID status is known. 
  • If someone presents at an emergency department or is admitted for care and comes from an area where there is a community cluster, they would be tested for COVID-19.
  • If they are being seen at another clinic, they will be referred to an assessment centre for testing. 
This information is updated as soon as we receive new information from Public Health Services.
We appreciate the concern that may result from information like this being shared without context. Whether you’re in an area identified as a community cluster or not, all Nova Scotians should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow the precautions in place.