To: Family physicians and nurse practitioners
Nova Scotia Tightens Border Controls

Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia is implementing a new self-isolation requirement for people coming to Nova Scotia from New Brunswick.

The changes take effect at 8 a.m. Saturday, January 9.
Read the Government of Nova Scotia's news release.

Documents are being updated on the COVID-19 Hub.
Travel Restriction Information for Nova Scotia Health Employees, Physicians, and Learners

The following travel restrictions apply to health care workers who:
Return to Nova Scotia from New Brunswick on or after Jan 9, 2021 at 8:00am
Nova Scotia Public Health requires that all employees, physicians, and learners traveling into Nova Scotia from outside the province, other than PEI or Newfoundland and Labrador (who are not declared an essential worker with special provisions in the Health Protection Order) must self-isolate for 14 days.
Reside in New Brunswick and Report to a Nova Scotia Health facility on a regular and consistent basis for work purposes
For employees, physicians, and learners who live in New Brunswick and travel daily to Nova Scotia to work in our facilities and programs, you should continue to come to work as usual and diligently follow all Occupational Health, Safety & Wellness, Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) guidelines and Public Health measures. With the revised travel restrictions for New Brunswick effective 8 a.m. Saturday, January 9, this means that your travel across the provincial border should be for employment purposes only, and health care workers should not stop for gas, groceries, meals, etc. in Nova Scotia before or after one’s shift. Health care workers should monitor themselves for symptoms using the daily self-monitoring toolEmployees, physicians and learners with symptoms of COVID-19 should call Occupational Health, Safety, and Wellness at 1-833-750-0632 for screening and should not report to the workplace if feeling unwell.
Returned from New Brunswick in the 14 days prior to Jan 9, 2021 at 8:00am
Employees, physicians, and learners who have visited New Brunswick in the past 14 days MUST immediately self-isolate and book an appointment for swabbing as directed by Nova Scotia Public Health and remain in self-isolation until a test result is obtained. Those who are asymptomatic are NOT required to contact Occupational Health Safety & Wellness. Those who obtain a negative result can return to work for their next scheduled shift and must diligently follow all Occupational Health, Safety, and Wellness, Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) guidelines in the workplace. Employees, physicians and learners MUST book a second swab 5-7 days later as follow up and to ensure compliance with the Health Protection Order. Employees physicians and learners who are exhibiting symptoms MUST NOT report to work and contact Occupational Health Safety & Wellness at 1-833-750-0632 for screening.
Household members visiting from New Brunswick in the 14 days prior to Jan 9, 2021 at 8:00am
Employees, physicians, and learners who have had visitors from New Brunswick into their household in the past 14 days (effective Jan 8, 2021) MUST immediately, book an COVID-19 swab through Public Health. Those in this category are NOT required to self-isolate while awaiting a test result and are NOT required to contact Occupational Safety and Wellness to report their appointment. While in the workplace employees, physicians, and learners must diligently follow all Occupational Health, Safety & Wellness, Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) guidelines in the workplace. Employees, physicians and learners MUST book a second test 5-7 days later to ensure compliance with the Health Protection Order.
DO NOT REPORT TO WORK AND CALL 1-833-750-0632 if you have:
  • A fever of 38°C  OR new or worsening chronic cough
OR two or more of the following (new/worsening):
  • sore throat, runny nose, unexplained headache, shortness of breath.
Vaccine Roll Out

As you are aware, the immunization roll out has begun in Nova Scotia. 

  • Primary Care providers (FPs, NPs) working in hospital settings, including ER, LTC and RCU are identified to receive their vaccine first.
  • Community Family Physicians, Nurse Practitioners and other front line community providers are identified to receive their vaccine in the coming months. 
  • Immunization clinics for staff and physicians are being organized at the zone level through Public Health and Occupational Health.
  • The plan is that there will be an online booking app that will be used for these appointments.
  • There will be a provincially coordinated effort for physicians willing to support the immunization of staff and public. We will provide details once they are available. 

A podcast has been recorded (Dec. 21) with Nova Scotia Health experts Angela Keenan, director of occupational health safety and wellness, and Dr. Shelly McNeil, chief of the division of infectious diseases and senior medical director of COVID-19 planning and implementation. Through an informative conversation with host David Blomme, listeners will learn when employees will receive the vaccine, how priority groups are determined, the effectiveness of the vaccine, and wellness and assistance programs available to team members.

Listen to the podcast (39 minutes) here.
Updated Decision & Management Protocols for Surgical Patients

The Decision Management Protocol for Surgical Procedures Requiring General Anesthesia has been updated to reflect the fact that patients entering the province from New Brunswick are now required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Patients from NB will now be treated the same as patients from outside the Atlantic provinces. They will be “yellow” patients regardless of the swab result, for their entire stay (up to 14 days). 
This means for Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures (AGMPs) providers will need to follow airborne/contact/droplet precautions and adhere to the yellow pathway. Outside of AGMPs, providers are to follow contact/droplet precautions. 
Office visits/surgical consults may continue but contact/droplet precautions will need to be followed throughout these visits.
COVID-19 Status Update

As of today, Friday, January 8, Nova Scotia has 29 active cases of COVID-19. Two new cases are being reported today.
One case is in Eastern Zone and one case is in Central Zone. Both cases are related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. The people are self-isolating, as required.
Nova Scotia Health labs completed 1,831 Nova Scotia tests on Jan. 7.
There were 558 tests administered between Jan 3 and 7 at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Halifax.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 124,483 tests. There have been 437 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths. No one is currently in hospital. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 70. Four hundred and eight cases are now resolved. Cumulative cases may change as data is updated in Panorama.
State of Emergency Renewed

The province is renewing the state of emergency. The order will take effect at noon Sunday, Jan. 10 and extend to noon Sunday, Jan. 24, unless government terminates or extends it.
Wellness Programs Offered

Primary Health Care is offering a variety of online wellness programs this winter for adults of all ages on healthy eating, physical activity, mental wellness, parenting, and reducing one’s health risks.

The wellness sessions are offered in a friendly group setting using Zoom for Healthcare, and are facilitated by health care professionals and trained volunteers. All of the online wellness sessions are free for anyone who lives within the province; a valid Nova Scotia health card is required to register for most programs.

The winter wellness schedule is now available online. Nova Scotians can register for sessions through or call 1-844-460-4555 for more information.

Please feel free to share the fall schedule of online wellness programs with your contacts. Online advertising is also occurring on Nova Scotia Health social media accounts to promote the wellness sessions to Nova Scotians.
Asymptomatic Testing Continues

Asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 will continue in Nova Scotia to help detect positive cases in people who do not have symptoms and limit the potential spread of the virus. Nova Scotians are able to book tests into January.

For more information click here.
Communicating with Heart® in Difficult Times

It’s been a long 10 months since COVID-19 arrived in Nova Scotia. Experiencing stress and uncertainty over such an extended time can take its toll physically, mentally and emotionally on everyone. It’s more important than ever to interact with and respond to one another and patients and families with kindness and compassion.

Download this poster for Communicating with Heart® in difficult times.
Family practice preceptors wanted for NP (Nurse Practitioner) students

The Dalhousie School of Nursing is seeking preceptors for 100 hour and 400 hour placements across Nova Scotia.Students will gain experience working in a collaborative team while being preceptored by an experienced health professional.

Contact School of Nursing Professor & Associate Director Graduate Studies Marilyn MacDonald for more information.

Email: or 902-494-2433.  
Family Physician Network Lead Opportunities

Upcoming Webinars & Learning Opportunities
Primary Health Care Virtual Care Knowledge Exchange Webinar Series

Registration is now open for an upcoming Primary Health Care Virtual Care Knowledge Exchange Webinar Series, hosted by Nova Scotia Health Primary Health Care Practice Support Program.

Webinar 1 - Making the Leap to Virtual Care: Moving Beyond the Telephone
January 27, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 am

Webinar 2 - Getting Started with Virtual Care
February 24, 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Webinar 3 - Beyond the Basics: Enhancing Virtual Care
March 10, 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Click here for more details.
Registration is required. Click here to register for one or all sessions – up to you!

Note: We are still looking for panelists to share their virtual care experience. If you are interested in being a panelist, please email

For more information, visit our website or email
Invitation: Let’s Talk Informatics
Computational Systems in Nova Scotia Health Neurosurgery

Nova Scotia Health Information Management & Technology (IM/IT) is pleased to welcome Dr. David Clarke, Head of the Division of Neurosurgery, Dalhousie University and Nova Scotia Health in Halifax, Nova Scotia for our next Let's Talk Informatics webinar on January 28, 2021:

Computational Systems in Nova Scotia Health Neurosurgery

Surveys for Family Practice
Contact: or 902-491-5893