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N.S. announces steps to reopen economy; 1 new COVID-19 case reported
HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia government says most businesses that were forced to close at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to reopen on June 5.
This includes restaurants, bars, wineries, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and fitness facilities, including gyms and yoga studios.
Some health providers, including dentists, optometrists, physiotherapists and massage therapists, can also reopen on June 5.
The businesses and health providers are required to follow the protocols tailored to their sector, as approved by public health.
The province hopes to allow daycares to reopen on June 15, but that date is not confirmed at this time.
While businesses may be reopening, the public health directives around physical distancing and gathering limits remain in place.
1 new case of COVID-19
Nova Scotia also reported one new case of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,053.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said the latest case involves a resident at the Northwood long-term care facility in Halifax.
The province isn’t reporting any additional deaths at this time. To date, 59 people have died from COVID-19 in Nova Scotia and 52 of those deaths have been at Northwood, which has seen the most significant outbreak.
The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 533 tests on Tuesday.
To date, Nova Scotia has 39,441 negative test results.
975 people recovered; 19 active cases
The province reported 975 recoveries on Wednesday, compared to 976 recoveries on Tuesday.
CTV News was told Strang would address the issue during Wednesday’s news conference. He confirmed that the numbers are correct, but didn’t provide a reason for the discrepancy.
“Once again, I know that people watch the numbers very closely. As I’ve said before, we continue to update our case information to make sure it’s accurate and as part of this ongoing process, the number of recovered cases has been reduced by one from 976 to 975,” he said.
There are now 19 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Sixteen of those cases are associated with Northwood, which has 12 residents and four staff members with active cases of the virus.
No other long-term care homes are reporting active cases at this time.
This leaves three active cases outside of long-term care homes.
There are still seven people in hospital and three patients are in the intensive care unit.
CTV News reached out to the province for clarification on hospitalizations and whether there are Northwood residents in hospital.
The Department of Health and Wellness provided this statement on Wednesday:
“Throughout the pandemic, there have been residents of [long-term care facilities] in Nova Scotia admitted to hospital due to COVID-19. However, due to the small number of these hospitalizations, we cannot provide more information about the current cases for privacy reasons.”
The province’s 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.
The latest case was confirmed in the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s central zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality and has seen the largest number of cases.
The western, northern and eastern zones are reporting no additional cases at this time.
western zone: 54 cases
central zone: 904 cases
northern zone: 44 cases
eastern zone: 51 cases
Public health is working to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with the confirmed cases.
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 of Nova Scotia must also self-isolate for two weeks.
List of symptoms expanded
Last week, the province expanded the list of symptoms for which it is screening.
Anyone who experiences one of the following symptoms is encouraged to take an online test to determine if they should call 811 for further assessment:
- fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
- cough or worsening of a previous cough
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
- muscle aches
- nasal congestion/runny nose
- hoarse voice
- unusual fatigue
- loss of sense of smell or taste
- red, purple or blueish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to May 31.