The New Normal: How Family Doctors Across Nova Scotia Are Still Serving Patients

As COVID-19 spreads, everyone is being forced to adapt, including those working on the front lines in hospitals and clinics. Nova Scotian health-care providers are finding new ways to deliver care to their patients.

Meanwhile, many people are struggling to cope with the “new normal” – no social gatherings, no sports, no going to the gym, no eating out, and more.

And with provincial and federal officials saying that social distancing measures could continue until at least the summer, Nova Scotians are settling in for the long haul.

It’s important to take care of yourself and seek out support for your mental and physical health during this time.

In the midst of this global crisis, we need to continue working as one team. Together, we can improvise, adapt and overcome the challenges we are facing – including making sure people get the care they need.

Virtual care in Nova Scotia

Virtual care is redefining health care for Nova Scotians because it allows you to have medical appointments in the comfort of your own home. It’s delivered through your telephone, smart phone, tablet or computer.

Most doctors are now offering this option. Virtual care is an innovative solution that allows providers and patients to connect safely, reducing the risk of community spread of COVID-19. Call your clinic to see if virtual care is an option for you.

Adapting to change

Due to the pandemic, it’s no longer business as usual at hospitals. This new normal means new measures and restrictions for everyone’s safety.

All patients, designated visitors and caregivers must wear masks when entering a hospital. Wearing a mask helps reduce the risk of transmission for everyone. By following this rule, you’re not only protecting yourself—you’re protecting others.

What to do if you think you have COVID-19?

Protect others: do not visit your doctor, walk-in clinic or emergency room.

Symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose and headache, and they may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and in some cases can lead to death.

If you have two or more of these symptoms, visit the online 811 self-assessment site to see if you should call 811. The wait time to access the 811-phone line have decreased. It’s key to get tested as soon as possible.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, protect others by self-isolating for 14 days. If you have a sharp turn in your condition, including shortness of breath, call 911.

Our health-care system is being pushed to its limits by COVID-19; however, it’s still important for doctors to continue providing care and help patients maintain their well-being.

Your family doctor is a trusted health advisor who plays an important role in your physical, emotional and mental health—especially as you deal with the challenges of this new-normal.

If you aren’t feeling well or have concerns about your health, reach out to your provider. They are more than willing to give you support and treatment options. Whether virtually or in person, doctors are ready to help.

If you have general questions about COVID-19, visit the provincial coronavirus info hub or call the toll-free federal info line at 1-833-784-4397.

More details on self-isolation
COVID-19-related restrictions in Nova Scotia

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