HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia has identified 26 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province's total to 262.

The 262 cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. The province is reporting 53 people have recovered, and six people are currently hospitalized.

The province has opened up it's first 'temporary primary assessment centre' in Elmsdale, N.S., Dr. Robert Strang, N.S. chief medical officer of health announced at a news conference Sunday afternoon

"We need to be flexible and act quickly to the path this disease may take in any community in Nova Scotia. When we identify communities where our surveillance suggest increased activity, we may set up temporary testing places if there isn't a centre in close proximity," said Strang. "We're aware of increase disease activity in the East Hants quarter, Elmsdale and Enfield, so we're moving in there with increase testing."

Like the other assessment centres, people must be referred to the temporary primary assessment centre by 811. Those directed to an assessment centre will have a physical assessment onsite and swabbed if appropriate.

The province also says that beginning Monday, April 6, tests will be processed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab. 592 tests  were completed at the QEII lab on Saturday, April 4.

Strang also announced plans for mobile assessment centres to cover other parts of the Mainland and Cape Breton.

“These will be used in situations where there are people who have mobility issues and cannot get to an assessment centre, or in situations where there is a group of people where testing needs to be done,” said Strang.

On Sunday, CTV News learned that one healthcare worker at Halifax’s IWK Health Centre, and one employee at New Glasgow’s Aberdeen Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19.

The IWK says a number of staff who may have been in contact with the confirmed case, have been tested and are in self isolation. IWK officials say patient care hasn’t been affected.

Meanwhile, some residents are testing the patience of authorities, as Halifax police handed out dozens of tickets this weekend to people violating orders to stay home.

"This virus is in our communities, it's dangerous and it's up to all of us to slow it down," said Premier Stephen McNeil during Sunday's news conference. "Expanding testing will help us identify and respond more quickly to spread in communities but the best defence continues to be following the public health orders. People need to stay home."

On Friday, McNeil had a unique way of telling the public to stay at home, which has quickly gone viral.

“If you bought a ‘Stay the Blazes at Home’ t-shirt, wear it. If you bought a mug, drink out of it, and if you have a sign on your lawn, use it as a reminder for your family, and especially for those who aren’t listening,” McNeil said Sunday, recognizing his viral statement.

The breakdown of N.S. cases per zone is as follows:

  • 175 cases in Central N.S.
  • 38 cases in Western N.S.
  • 25 cases in Northern N.S.
  • 24 cases in Eastern N.S.

9,510 people have tested negative for COVID-19.

On Saturday, the province saw its largest single day jump in cases, identifying 29 new cases of COVID-19. However, they also reported also an increase of 29 in the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19.