COVID-19

Financial Help and Social Supports

Domestic abuse support

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, you’re not alone. Support, guidance and shelter are available throughout the province.

If you’re in immediate danger, call 911.

If you need help or information about emergency shelter, safety planning and available resources, call the 24-hour toll-free line at 1-855-225-0220. You can also find community resources at 211 Nova Scotia (or call 211).

Federal support for individuals

The Government of Canada has funding and resources available for individuals, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Helpline

If you need non-emergency, non-medical help, call 211 or visit ns.211.ca. 211 is a toll-free helpline that connects you to community and social services in your area. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (in over 140 languages).

If you're accepting help from someone you don't know, remember to protect your own privacy and safety and follow these tips.

Income assistance support

There are extended hours for the toll-free line for income assistance supports, including weekends. If you have questions about eligibility for income assistance, call:

Hours of operation Phone number

Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Toll-free: 1-877-424-1177
Monday to Friday 4:30 pm to 7 pm
Saturday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Toll-free: 1-833-722-1417

Mental health and wellbeing

A new virus like COVID-19 can create fear and anxiety. There are ways to manage your symptoms and get help if you need it. Learn more: mental health and wellbeing support.

Pharmacare changes

The Government of Nova Scotia is covering additional dispensing fees for Pharmacare (drug coverage) program prescription refills. This covers the extra fees for prescriptions that are usually filled for longer periods and are now only being filled for 30 days at a time. Government is also waiving the $5.00 prescription co-pay for people in the Income Assistance Program and the Low Income Pharmacare for Children Program.

Red Cross Friendly Calls Program

The Friendly Calls Program provides pre-scheduled calls to individuals who are feeling isolated due to the pandemic. Callers are trained in a variety of areas, including psychological first aid. Callers can also help connect you with other support services available in your community.

Anyone 19 or older can register for the program by calling 1-833-729-0144, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Red Cross will arrange to call you at a mutually agreed time, in English or French.

Student loan payments suspended

Nova Scotia Student Loan payments are suspended until 30 September 2020. You don't need to make any payments, and your loans won't accrue interest. The suspension is automatic – you don't need to apply.

Support for businesses

Agriculture Response Program

The COVID-19 Agriculture Response Program helps Nova Scotia's agriculture industry mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry's competitiveness, productivity and profitability.

Business support website

Business support during COVID-19 provides education, training and guidance for small businesses. Community innovation leads at NSCC help connect businesses with support programs available from post-secondary institutions and other regional organizations.

Federal support for businesses

The Government of Canada has funding and resources available for businesses and industries.

Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program is available for qualifying businesses.

Provincial State of Emergency

On 22 March 2020, the Government of Nova Scotia declared a provincial state of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19. The state of emergency has been extended until noon on 6 September 2020.

https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/Ministers-renewal-Aug-23-Sept-6.pdf

Nova Scotia’s Back to School Plan

Nova Scotia’s Back to School Plan will be updated to mandate non-medical mask use for students in Grades 4 to 12 while in school.

All students in Grades 4 to 12 will be required to wear a mask inside schools, except if they are seated at their desks while two metres apart and facing in the same direction. They must also be worn in hallways and other common areas if a two-metre distance can’t be maintained.

Students who travel by bus will now need to wear their mask until they get off the bus and can clean their hands and safely store their mask.
Additional measures and information for families include:

✅ A school-by-school ventilation assessment will take place to ensure equipment is operating properly and in good condition, and that windows can be opened.
✅ Masks and hand-sanitizer are starting to arrive at schools. All students and staff will receive two cloth masks. Disposable masks will also be available if a student forgets, loses, or soils their mask during the school day.
✅ Resources for families and students are currently available at novascotia.ca/backtoschool with more to be added.
✅ Regional Centres for Education and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, will continue to communicate with families and principals will reach out to families with specific information about their school closer to September.
✅ Before and After School Programs will be offered in accordance with public health guidelines that are currently in development.
✅ Schools, with the support of public health, will notify families as soon as they become aware of a COVID-19 case in their school, along with what measures will need to be taken.
✅ A Return to Sport school sports schedule and protocols are in the final stage of development and will be communicated to schools by the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation.

For more information on post-secondary education, prevention plans and pre-primary program please visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/education/

Province Announces Mandatory Masks in Indoor Public Places

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, announced today, July 24, that masks will become mandatory in most indoor public places starting July 31.

“As we open our economy, our schools and our communities, we must continue to be vigilant to minimize the impact of a second wave of COVID-19,” said Premier McNeil. “Wearing a non-medical mask in most indoor public places is a key part of how we protect each other and support our local businesses so they can stay open for the long run.”

Indoor public places include:

  • retail businesses
  • shopping centres
  • personal services businesses such as hair and nail salons, spas, body art facilities, except during services that require removing a mask
  • restaurants and bars, except while people are eating or drinking
  • places of worship or faith gatherings
  • places for cultural or entertainment services or activities such as movie theatres, concerts and other performances
  • places for sports and recreational activities such as a gym, pool or indoor tennis facility, except while doing an activity where a mask cannot be worn
  • places for events such as conferences and receptions
  • municipal or provincial government locations offering services to the public
  • common areas of tourist accommodations such as lobbies, elevators and hallways
  • common areas of office buildings such as lobbies, elevators and hallways, but not private offices
  • public areas of a university or college campus, such as library or student union building, but not classrooms, labs, offices or residences
  • train or bus stations, ferry terminals and airports
  • Children under two are exempt, as well as children aged two to four when their caregiver cannot get them to wear a mask. People with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask are exempt. Schools, daycares and day camps continue to follow their reopening plans.

People are asked to use their own masks. Government will help with initial supplies of masks for people who cannot bring their own.

“Nova Scotians have made a habit of all the other core public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and now it’s time to also make a habit of wearing a non-medical mask in most indoor public settings,” said Dr. Strang. “I have confidence that Nova Scotians will do the right thing and take care of each other by wearing masks in these settings.”

Live Update - Nova Scotia Government, July 24, 2020

Nova Scotia has one active case of COVID-19. No new cases were identified yesterday when the lab completed 677 NS tests.

Premier McNeil and Dr. Strang will provide a #COVID19NS update today at 1 p.m., streaming to Facebook, YouTube (NSGov) and novascotia.ca/stayinformed/webcast .

There are no licensed long-term care homes in Nova Scotia with active cases of COVID-19.

Nova Scotia has 61,626 negative test results, 1,067 positives, 63 deaths, one active #COVID19 case and 1,003 cases are now resolved. There are currently no #COVID19NS hospitalizations. Stay up-to-date at www.novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data .

Live Update - July 22, 2020

Nova Scotia Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Zach Churchill and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, announce the province's back to school plan, July 22, 2020.

You can watch on at https://novascotia.ca/stayinformed/webcast.