Nova Scotia has its first case of COVID-19 that is the result of spread within the community, according to the province.
In a news release Monday, the Nova Scotia government said five new cases were identified on Sunday after more than 600 tests were processed.
There are now 127 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Ten have since recovered and four are now in hospital.
“While most cases to date have been connected to travel or a known case, public health has now reached a point with one of its current investigations where no such links can be made and must conclude that this case is the result of transmission within the community,” the province said in a release.
“While this is not unexpected, it is now more important than ever for Nova Scotians to strictly adhere to the public health orders and directives.”
Those directives include practicing good hygiene, maintaining a physical distance of two metres or six feet from others, limiting essential gatherings to no more than five people and staying at home as much as possible.
The individuals affected range in age from under ten to mid-70s. Cases have been identified in all parts of the province.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and chief public health officer Dr. Robert Strang will be holding an update on the new COVID-19 cases Monday starting at 3 p.m.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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