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Nova Scotia Health is warning the public to expect delays in emergency room and ambulance service over the holiday long weekend because of staffing shortages.

Officials say they anticipate longer than usual waits for care in emergency departments and for admission from emergency departments into hospital beds.

They say as a result, timely handovers of patients from ambulance crews may “not always be possible” and that could affect ambulance response time to 911 calls.

Officials are urging people with less serious medical concerns to contact their family doctor or go to a walk-in clinic.

The health authority also apologizes in advance for the pending situation.

On Thursday, the authority said that 270 health care staff are currently off work across the province due to COVID-19.

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