Nova Scotia can now conduct 400 COVID-19 tests in one day: Strang

Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer says they have doubled their COVID-19 testing capacity, while also increasing 811 staffing levels.

Speaking at a press briefing Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Robert Strang said the capacity to conduct COVID-19 tests has increased from 200 to 400 COVID-19 tests in one day.

“As a result of that, we’re now able to begin testing of all the close contacts that public health is identifying,” said Strang,

“Any close contact of a case, we’re not just putting them in isolation and seeing if they get sick, we’re testing them right away.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Nova Scotia now has 41 cases, including at least one child under 10

Strang added they will be going back and testing close contacts all the way back to the province’s very first case.

Premier Stephen McNeil says in addition to the increase in testing capacity, 53 nurse and tele-health associates have been added to handle the volume of calls coming into 811. Another 40 are being trained.

“We are also doubling our phone bank,” said McNeil. “We had 79 lines when we started, and in the next 48 hours we’ll have 138 lines.”

“We are doing this to better support the people who are worried about their health,” he added.

10 new cases, bringing total to 51

The province announced Tuesday afternoon that there are 10 new cases of coronavirus in Nova Scotia, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 51.

Strang said all the cases are travel-related or connected to earlier reported cases, and that none are the result of community spread.

The 51 individuals range in age from under ten to mid-70, and cases have been identified in all parts of the province.

During the press briefing, Strang clarified that two COVID-19 patients had been admitted to hospital and one has been released.

He also said one individual has recovered and their case is considered resolved.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia declares state of emergency, announces 7 new cases of COVID-19

Public health has been in contact with these individuals and is working to identify others who may have come in close contact with them. Those individuals are also being directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.

To date, Nova Scotia has 2,474 negative test results.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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