N.S. confirms positive cases in non-COVID unit at Halifax hospital; 110 new infections Thursday
HALIFAX -- Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting 110 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.
In a news release from the province, it says 83 of the cases are in the province's Central zone, 12 are in the Eastern zone, nine are in the Western zone, and six are in the Northern zone.
“I am pleased that case numbers are not rising in Central zone where the outbreak has been most serious,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “We all must keep at it to ensure that we stop the spread of fast-moving variants. If you are feeling unwell, please stay home. By following the public health measures, we are working to keep each other safe.”
Health officials also say eight patients in a non-COVID unit at the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre have tested positive for COVID-19 and are being transferred to a COVID-19 unit.
All other patients in the non-COVID unit have been tested for the virus, which have all returned as negative.
As a precaution, staff and doctors who work in the unit will also be tested for COVID-19.
Health officials say there is evidence of community spread in Nova Scotia's Central zone.
Public Health says the province’s other zones– Eastern, Northern, and Western– are being monitored for signs of community spread.
One-hundred-and-fifty-five of the province's previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases dropping to 1,572.
“We are seeing early signs that our case numbers are declining, which is an indication that the restrictions that are in place are working,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. “The cases we are seeing have fewer close contacts than cases in previous weeks. We’re headed in the right direction, so let’s keep up the good work by strictly adhering to the public health protocols.”
PRODUCTION AT HALIFAX SHIPYARD SUSPENDED
On Thursday, the Halifax Shipyard confirmed six employees and six contractors have tested positive for COVID-19.
The company says out of an abundance of caution, production operations at the Halifax Shipyard have been suspended until Monday.
N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 7,205 tests on Wednesday.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 4,407 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 2,764 cases have recovered and 71 people have died due to the novel coronavirus.
There are currently 85 people in hospital due to COVID-19, with 15 individuals in the intensive care unit.
There are cases confirmed across the province, but most have been identified in the Central Zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality.
The provincial government says cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated in Panorama, the province’s electronic information system.
The numbers reflect where a person lives and not where their sample was collected.
- Western Zone: 224 cases (71 active cases)
- Central Zone: 3.642 cases (1,305 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 217 cases (60 active case)
- Eastern Zone: 324 cases (136 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to May 16, 2021.
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Thursday, 402,733 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 38,421 are Nova Scotians who have received their second dose.
As of Tuesday, Nova Scotia has received a total of 466,900 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.
Nova Scotia also announced a milestone on Thursday, saying the province has now administered 400,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
The news means the province has doubled the number of vaccinations in less than a month, after celebrating 200,000 doses on April 16.
CHANGES TO ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING STRATEGY
In order to address the test result backlog, Nova Scotia is shifting their COVID-19 asymptomatic testing strategy.
In the interim, most Nova Scotians are encouraged to use pop-up testing sites instead of booking a COVID-19 lab test over the next few days.
Individuals under the following categories are still encouraged to book lab tests:
- anyone with symptoms
- anyone who has been notified that they are a close contact of a known case
- anyone who has been at an exposure location
- anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador
Public health says anyone who does not meet the above criteria and has already booked an appointment should cancel it following the instructions provided in their confirmation email.
The province says they are making an effort to increase rapid testing capacity around the province.
Pop-up testing locations being provided on Thursday, include:
- John Martin School - 7 Brule St. Dartmouth from noon to 7 p.m.
- Bridgewater Cineplex, 349 Lahave St from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Centre 200, 481 George St, Sydney from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Convention Centre, Halifax from noon to 7 p.m.
- Alderney Gate Public Library, Dartmouth from noon to 7 p.m.
- Halifax Central Library from noon to 7 p.m.
- Central Spryfield Elementary School, 364 Herring Cove Rd from noon to 7 p.m.
COVID ALERT APP
Canada’s COVID-19 Alert app is available in Nova Scotia.
The app, which can be downloaded through the Apple App Store or Google Play, notifies users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
LIST OF SYMPTOMS
Anyone who experiences a fever or new or worsening cough, or two or more of the following new or worsening symptoms, is encouraged to take an online test or call 811 to determine if they need to be tested for COVID-19:
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose/nasal congestion
A previous version of this story said Nova Scotia has had 159 new recoveries. This should have read 155 and has been corrected in the current version.