COVID-19 outbreaks in Nova Scotia’s Northern and Western zones under control
Nova Scotia is reporting 20 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday and 31 recoveries. Health officials say there are 18 people in hospital with COVID-19, including six in intensive care. There are 172 active cases in the province.
Tim Houston, premier of Nova Scotia, announced Wednesday that the COVID-19 outbreaks in the Northern and Western zones are under control and cases in those areas seem to be trending down.
“I’m pleased to say that things appear to be stabilizing, for now,” said Houston in Wednesday’s press conference.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says the cases in the Halifax Regional Municipality are shifting from Central Halifax into suburban and semi-rural areas in and around the city.
“Most cases are in children under 12 and that is having an impact on some schools, but with the rollout of the vaccine for children aged five to 11 we can expect to see less activity in the new year.”
Appointments are now open for those eligible to book a third dose and the province is expecting vaccines for children aged five to 11 this week.
“The team is putting the final touches on the rollout. Parents and guardians should be able to start booking appointments for their children very soon,” said Houston.
“As your chief medical officer of health, I am strongly recommending that all children who are eligible get vaccinated. While this virus does lead to mild illness in children most of the time, please don’t take a chance with their health or the health of others around them,” said Strang.
Houston reminded Nova Scotians that the benefits of the vaccine are clear, regardless of the age.
“Thankfully, the choice to get vaccinated is the choice most employees who look after and care for vulnerable Nova Scotians have made.”
The province provided an update on the latest numbers from sectors included in the mandatory vaccine protocol.
- 95 per cent of Nova Scotia Health employees who have reported are fully vaccinated and another four per cent have one dose.
- 99 per cent of IWK staff who have reported are fully vaccinated.
- 95 per cent of long-term care employees who have reported are fully vaccinated with three per cent partially vaccinated.
- 95 per cent of homecare workers who have reported are fully vaccinated
- 99 per cent of EHS employees who have reported are fully vaccinated
- 97 per cent of employees in the education system who have reported are fully vaccinated
“So, as for employees that work for the province of Nova Scotia, 97 per cent of those who have reported are fully vaccinated. So those are encouraging numbers,” said Houston.
“We’re paying close attention to the percentage of staff in all sectors who have not yet reported, but I know employers are working hard to determine the intentions of these employees.”
Houston says he is concerned about the group that has not reported their vaccination status and hopes it doesn’t mean they don’t intend to get vaccinated.
“At the end of the day, we absolutely believe, we’re completely convinced that people who work in these sectors must be vaccinated to protect the people they care for. This is more important than having to deal with the impact of staffing and services if people choose to leave rather than taking the lifesaving vaccine,” said Houston.
At this time, Houston says there is no employer that is expecting any major impacts to service delivery, but employers are all planning for how they will handle staff shortages or service disruptions should they occur.