- Communications Nova Scotia
- Strang wants Covid patients to stop lying to public health about how many people they've seen.
“It’s been recently brought to my attention that in a few of our ongoing investigations by public health, there are some individuals that have been very deliberately not following the public health regulations,” said Robert Strang in a telephone conference on January 15.
“They have not been truthful and honest about their movements and the people they have made contact with,” he said.
When asked by reporters for more details, Strang said that these are instances of positive COVID-19 cases not reporting close contacts. He said it’s increased the risk of community spread and slowed down the quick detection of the virus that Nova Scotia is relying on to keep cases low.
“We’ve had a couple of cases where somebody has shown up as a case and then when public health goes to investigate that case, then all of a sudden we link it back to a previous case. That actually if we’d been given the full information in the first case, that second individual would’ve been under isolation as a close contact, but because they weren’t, they’ve been out exposing people,” he said.
In the past, Strang has been vocal about avoiding the stigma that can be associated with the virus, and continues to encourage Nova Scotians to be honest about how many people they’ve been in contact with.
“This lack of information has delayed investigations and is leaving more time for the virus to spread in communities,” Strang said. “I have to say I’m very disappointed by this news.”
Strang also expressed disappointment during Friday’s press conference towards an HRM-area restaurant that continues to flout public health measures. The restaurant owner—who has expressed anti-mask and anti-vaccine sentiment on social media—plans to host a “peaceful gathering” on Friday afternoon to ask the government to “restore our freedoms and liberties, our human rights.”
“People have the right to get together as long as they’re following the public health regulations,” Strang said, but added that “we’re certainly aware of this restaurant and they’ve already been fined.”
Premier McNeil reminded Nova Scotians that under current health regulations, “not only those that are hosting and holding the event can be charged but those who intend and ignore the public health rules and orders also potentially run the risk of being fined $1,000.”
Aside from these reports, Strang says he’s mostly satisfied with the way cases have progressed, now that we are 14 days past the end of the holiday season.
“As of today we are officially two weeks out from new years and our epidemiology is looking good,” he told the public.
But “we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Strang, something he’s repeated over the past several weeks and months. “Covid is still here, it is all around us, so we must continue with our slow and cautious approach.”