Dr. Robert Strang said that the healthcare system is currently stressed and that as fewer people drive, medical workers are unlikely to experience as many car accidents.
“You may think it is okay to get in your car and drive, but the fewer people we have on the roads mean less travel to gas stations,” Strang said on Sunday. “It also means less risk of accident. “
Strang said people shouldn’t drive to open their cottages, pick up or sell items on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace, or for social reasons.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil has said on previous occasions that people should not drive to find a place to exercise and should instead walk in their home communities.
Michael Nickerson, president of the union representing Nova Scotia paramedics and LifeFlight nurses, said hospitals are in need of as much space as possible due to the pandemic.
What are the risks?
If there is an accident, Nickerson said those involved may not have known they were infected with COVID-19, endangering first responders who may not be wearing personal protective equipment if any were missing.
“If you don’t have to go out, stay home,” said Nickerson. “It will help everyone – your family, your neighbors, yourself and the health care workers. “
Strang said that the more Nova Scotia moves, the more the province is at risk.
Making essential trips, like going to the grocery store or the pharmacy, is fine, he said, but these trips should be minimized as much as possible and done by a member of the household.
He also said that people who are essential service workers who have to go to work may also have to drive.
Strang said on Monday that the police would not issue tickets to or detain people who were driving and asked them where they were going.