HALIFAX -- Four more residents have died from COVID-19 at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax, bringing the total number of virus-related deaths at the facility to 49.

Fifty-five people have now died from COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.

“This is by far the most difficult part of the conversations that we have with Nova Scotians,” said Premier Stephen McNeil at a news conference in Halifax Friday afternoon.

“We feel each and every one of these deaths deeply and it is important that you know that these are not numbers to us.”

Northwood has seen the most significant outbreak of the virus in Nova Scotia, with the facility reporting a total of 332 confirmed cases among residents and staff members since the start of the pandemic.

8 new cases; 61 active cases

The Nova Scotia government also reported eight new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,034.

The province has been reporting new COVID-19 cases in the single digits since May 5.

“For the last week we have seen low case numbers,” said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang. “Our collective actions are flattening the curve.”

Strang says six of the new cases are connected to Northwood. One other case is connected to a previous case.

“So, we still continue to see very low levels of cases that would indicate community exposure, which is extremely encouraging to me and I hope to you,” said Strang.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 473 tests on Thursday.

To date, Nova Scotia has 35,375 negative test results.

Of the province’s 1,034 confirmed cases, 918 people have recovered, with 61 active cases remaining.

Most of Nova Scotia’s active cases are at Northwood, which currently has 25 residents and 15 staff members with active cases of COVID-19, for a total of 40 active cases at Northwood.

A second long-term care facility has one staff member with an active case and a third facility has one resident with an active case.

Of the province’s 61 active cases, 42 are in long-term care facilities, which leaves 19 active cases outside of those facilities.

One more patient admitted to ICU

Nine people are still in hospital, but one more patient has been admitted to the intensive care unit. A total of five patients are now in intensive care units.

The confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.

Sixty-two per cent of cases are female and 38 per cent are male.

All eight of the new cases announced Friday were identified in the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s central zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The western, northern and eastern zones are seeing no additional cases at this time.

  • Western zone: 54 cases
  • Central zone: 885 cases
  • Northern zone: 44 cases
  • Eastern zone: 51 cases

Nova Scotia COVID map May 15

Public health is working to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with the confirmed cases.

Province extends state of emergency, eases some restrictions

The Nova Scotia government has renewed the provincial state of emergency.

The order will take effect at noon on Sunday and extend to noon on May 31, unless the government terminates or extends it.

The provincial government also announced the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, including reopening beaches and allowing two separate households from the same immediate family to “bubble” together.

Symptoms and self-isolation

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.

Anyone who travels outside Nova Scotia must also self-isolate for two weeks.

Nova Scotians who experience two or more of the following symptoms should take an online questionnaire to determine if they should call 811 for further assessment:

  • Fever
  • New or worsening cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Headache