COVID-19 Updates: WCB suspends in-person service and NS Gov announces more measures
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Below is are the latest releases from the Government of Nova Scotia addressing the COVID-19 outbreak.
NS Government Announces Additional Measures to Mitigate Spread of COVID-19
March 18, 2020 — 6:00 PM
Premier Stephen McNeil, chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang, and Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey provided an update earlier today, March 18. A recording of the news conference is available on the NS Gov Youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/nsgov.
Details of additional measures announced to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 and increase capacity within the health system to respond are outlined below:
- doctors and pharmacists have new options for virtual care, using telephone and secure videoconferencing
- pharmacists can renew prescriptions for most medications and government will cover the assessment fee
- employers cannot require a doctor’s note if an employee must be off work
- College of Physicians and Surgeons waiving the fee for retired doctors to renew their licences so they can come back to work
- retired and other nurses are being brought into the system to assist with 811 staffing
- all service providers funded through the Department of Community Services’ Disability Support Program – including social enterprises, day programs, and supported employment programs for adults with diverse abilities – will close to participants and the public
Effective midnight, Thursday, March 19:
- personal service and fitness establishments such as hair salons, barbershops, spas, nail salons, body art establishments and gyms must shut down
The full news release is available at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200318004 and in French at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200318005.
NSHA and IWK have further restricted visitors and instituted other measures like online mental health supports and more assessment centres. More information is available at the links below:
A number of new resources have been developed for businesses and individuals, including:
- Prevent the spread of COVID-19 (printable poster) – https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/COVID-19-Prevention-EN.pdf
- Information on how to self-isolate (fact sheet) – https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/Self-Isolation-Information-for-Travellers-EN.pdf
- Information on social distancing (fact sheet) – https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/Social-Distancing-EN.pdf
These materials are also available in French: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/fr/
As announced earlier today, Nova Scotia has 12 cases of COVID-19, including nine presumptive and three confirmed cases. The news release is available at: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200318001 and in French at https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200318002.
We encourage you to share this information with your staff, board members and stakeholders. We also ask for your support on social media by sharing accurate information from the Department of Health and Wellness and Nova Scotia Government social media channels.
Follow them @nsheath and @nsgov on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/NovaScotiaHealthAndWellness/ and https://www.facebook.com/nsgov/ on Facebook.
Thank you for your interest and support.
In-Person Services Suspended at WCB Nova Scotia Offices in Halifax and Sydney
Over the past few days, WCB Nova Scotia has been adapting our operations in response to COVID-19.
Effective tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, we will be suspending our in-person service. It’s very important to note that as an operation, we are not closed. Our services continue, and we continue to provide the important services we need to.
Suspending in-person service means:
– Our facilities will be closed to the public, including all front-desk services;
– PMI exams are cancelled, and are being rescheduled;
– Meetings and case conferences should happen by phone or video, where possible; and
– Field representative visits, workplace visits, and any other in-person services will be postponed.
This temporary suspension of in-person services is needed for the safety of our employees, and for those we serve. And it’s about our organization doing what we can to help reduce the spread of the virus.
We have made great progress in moving our employees to work remotely, in keeping with the government’s directive for public sector employees. This will continue. Where our employees need to be on-site, we have increased sanitation, are encouraging social distancing, and we continue to follow all directives of the Office of Public Health.
We are keeping our website and phone lines up to date with the information you need. We encourage you to contact us through our secure online services – MyAccount for employers or WCB Online for workers and tiered service providers. As always, you can call us at 1-800-870-3331 during regular business hours.
Thank you for helping us prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.