N.S. reports 10 new COVID-19 cases in Central zone; over 4,000 tests completed
HALIFAX -- After conducting 4,138 tests, Nova Scotia reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of active cases to 142.
All of the cases are in the Central zone.
We're now almost a week into a targeted two-week lockdown for most of the Halifax area and Hants County.
"As we get closer to Dec. 9, we'll look at the different indicators and we'll decide if we need to extend the measures and, if so, what measures may need to stay in place and for how much longer," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health.
Four schools are temporarily closed after COVID-19 cases were linked to them.
At Bedford South School, testing is still taking place, but there have been no new cases since one case was reported there.
"That school will remain closed until at least next Monday, then we'll reassess, but were very encouraged by the cooperation from the community and the epidemiology that's coming back looks very good," Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil.
Meanwhile, a mobile testing unit is being sent to the Northeast Kings Education Centre in Canning, N.S.
"At that school we've had two cases that we're still unclear how they're linked and we're doing this testing as a way to get a better sense of how the virus may have spread within that school community, if it has spread at all," said Strang.
Later Tuesday evening, Nova Scotia public health reported a positive case at St. Margarets Bay Elementary School in the Central Zone.
CASES REMAIN STABLE, BUT CLOSE CONTACTS ARE UP
An expected spike during the second wave has not occurred and the number of cases remains relatively low and stable compared to last week.
"A low and stable number of daily cases is just one of the indicators we look to when it comes to lifting restrictions. We also look at the average number of close contacts for each case," Strang said.
The number has increased to eight close contacts per case during the second wave.
"That's eight individuals who themselves might become infectious and then spread it to others," Strang said. "So you can see why I keep saying we need to reduce our social contacts, keep our numbers of people that were in close contact with outside of our households low, because every additional person we just increased the chance for the any exposure to that amplify very quickly. When people move, the virus moves with it."
STUDIES SHOW MASKS CONTROL SPREAD OF COVID
It is mandatory to wear a face mask in indoor public spaces in Nova Scotia and there is a good reason for that, Strang says. Research out of Kansas, which studied jurisdictions that mandated masks and those that didn't, said mandatory masks proved to be successful in controlling the spread of COVID-19.
"It's clear masks work. They're a necessary part of our multi-barrier response to covid, and they're safe," Strang said. "You may not like to wear a mask, that's OK. You don't have to like it, but you still need to do it. So stop looking for loopholes. Stop making excuses. Stop arguing with the people who drive our buses, who work in our access centres, and who manage our retail stores when they ask you to put on the mask."
On Monday, Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 4,138 Nova Scotia tests.
Nova Scotia health says there were also 275 tests administered Monday at the rapid-testing pop-up site in Halifax and 585 tests administered at the rapid-testing pop-up site in Wolfville. There were no positive test results identified at either site.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 66,263 tests. There have been 226 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths since the start of Nova Scotia's second wave. No one is currently in hospital. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 70. Eighty-four cases are now resolved, leaving 142 active cases.
Since the pandemic began in March, Nova Scotia has reported a total of 1,315 cases and 1,108 resolved cases. There have been 65 deaths.
Fifty-seven per cent of cases are female and 43 per cent are male.
Cases have been 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: 62 cases
- Central Zone: 1,118 cases
- Northern Zone: 80 cases
- Eastern Zone: 55 cases
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
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.
Anyone who travels to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic region for non-essential reasons is required to self-isolate for 14 days and must fill out a self-declaration form before coming to the province. Travellers must self-isolate alone, away from others. If they cannot self-isolate alone, their entire household must also self-isolate for 14 days.
Residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are not required to self-isolate when travelling to Nova Scotia, but they must be prepared to provide proof of their place of residency at provincial borders.
Visitors from outside the Atlantic region who have already self-isolated in another Atlantic province for 14 days may travel to Nova Scotia without having to self-isolate again.