N.S. confirms 17 new COVID-19 cases; total at 90
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil provides an update on COVID-19 during a news conference on March 27, 2020.
HALIFAX -- There are 17 new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 90.
The provincial government says most of the cases are connected to travel or a previously-confirmed case of COVID-19.
The province says the latest cases, announced Friday, are not connected to a St. Patrick’s Day event held in Lake Echo, N.S., on March 14.
During a news conference Thursday, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said it’s possible one case of COVID-19 is linked to a “significant number of people getting together" at a St. Patrick's Day party.
He noted that they couldn't connect that case to travel or a previously-confirmed case, and health officials are investigating how that person was exposed to COVID-19.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority later issued a statement, warning about a possible COVID-19 exposure at a St. Patrick's Day event, held at the Lake Echo Community Centre on March 14.
Strang confirmed Friday that everyone who attended the event has been contacted and they have all been tested; results are pending.
Health officials say they are still investigating the source of exposure, so they are not confirming a link to community spread at this time.
The 90 infected individuals range in age from under 10 to their mid-70s.
Two people are currently hospitalized as a result of COVID-19.
The daughter of one patient told CTV News that her father is in critical condition in the intensive care unit in Truro, N.S.
The province says three people have recovered from COVID-19 and their cases are considered resolved.
The province will not release any details about where the infected individuals are located, but officials do say there are cases across the province.
Public Health is working to identify people who may have come in close contact with the infected individuals. Those people are being directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.
While officials aren’t releasing information about where cases are located, Strang says word is spreading in those communities, and he has received reports that some people who tested positive for COVID-19 are being harassed on social media -- behaviour he says is “unacceptable.”
“These people need your support, they need your love and caring,” said Strang. “We need to be kind we need to be considerate.”
According to rules set out by the province, anyone who travelled outside Nova Scotia is required to self-isolate for 14 days. Citizens are also required to adhere to a five-person limit for social gatherings, though the province is urging residents to stay home as much as possible and to limit contact with others.
Nova Scotians are also urged to practise physical distancing by keeping a six-foot distance from others when out in public.
“For those of you who are not adhering to those, please start. The individual decisions we make will determine how well we flatten the curve,” said Premier Stephen McNeil during Friday’s news conference.
“Keep your distance. Walk to exercise, not to socialize. My best advice is to stay inside, but stay in touch.”
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms, such as fever or a new cough -- especially those who travelled or have been in contact with a traveller -- should limit their contact with others and use the online assessment tool before calling 811.
Nova Scotia has seen 3,649 negative test results and 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at this time.