N.S. reports 11 new COVID-19 cases; officials urge to avoid non-essential travel
HALIFAX -- Health officials in Nova Scotia identified 11 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, increasing the total number of active cases to 51.
According to the province, all 11 cases are in the Central Zone, which includes Halifax. Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, has confirmed there is community spread in the Central Zone.
Eight of the new cases reported on Monday are connected to previously reported cases, while the other three are under investigation.
“One of the cases was detected Saturday, Nov. 21, in a pilot rapid COVID-19 screening program for bar staff and patrons in downtown Halifax,” said the province in a news release on Monday.
This is the second day in a row that Nova Scotia has announced 11 new COVID-19 cases in the Central Zone.
Six of the cases announced Sunday are connected to previously reported cases, while five are still under investigation, according to the province.
NEW RESTRICTIONS FOR HRM, PARTS OF HANTS COUNTY
As of Monday, several new restrictions are in place in areas of the Halifax Regional Municipality and parts of Hants County following a rise in COVID-19 cases in those areas.
The new gathering limits apply to all of HRM, except for areas east of Porters Lake to Ecum Secum. The limits also apply to the Enfield and Mount Uniacke areas in both HRM and Hants County.
The new limits do no apply in Elmsdale and communities north of there.
People in the affected areas can gather in groups of up to five people without social distancing. Social groups are not required to be exclusive, but residents are strongly encouraged to maintain a consistent group. People should not gather in random or spontaneous groups of five.
Households are allowed to host up to five visitors at a time and people in households with more than five members may only go outside the home in groups of five or fewer.
The limit on indoor gatherings with physical distancing, such as sports games, arts and culture events, organized physical activity, faith gatherings, weddings, funerals, festivals and special events is 50 per cent of the venue's capacity up to a maximum of 100 people, with physical distancing measures in place, while the outdoor limit is 150 people.
Up to 25 people may attend similar social events that are not run by a recognized organization or business, such as a family gathering in a backyard, with social distancing. This applies to events both indoors and outdoors, but attendees must practice physical distancing.
Community-based adult day programs for residents of long-term care homes aren't allowed to operate at this time.
The new public health rules will last until Dec. 21 when officials will re-evaluate the situation in the province.
The rest of Nova Scotia remains under looser restrictions.
CALLS TO LIMIT NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is urging Nova Scotians to limit their travel.
This comes after Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador announced Monday that they are temporarily suspending themselves from the Atlantic Bubble in order to keep case numbers low in their provinces.
“Nova Scotia is urging people to limit travel for the next two weeks. I respect the decision of the provinces of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador to take further steps at this time,” said Premier Stephen McNeil.
“Our border with New Brunswick continues to be monitored. There are a number of people on both sides of our shared border who drive back and forth for work or other essential reasons, and they can continue to do so. But for anyone considering a shopping trip or other non-essential travel, we are asking you not to go. This is another step we can take to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang says Monday’s changes to the Atlantic Bubble is a good reminder of how quickly things can change amidst the ongoing pandemic.
“Today’s changes to the Atlantic bubble – with two Atlantic provinces asking their citizens to quarantine after visiting here – is a stark reminder that we need to do all that we can to stop the spread of this virus in Nova Scotia,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health.
“COVID-19 has found its way back into our communities. It is the responsibility of all of us to move quickly and stop it from spreading further. Reduce your social circle and activities, and strictly follow public health measures.”
CHANGES TO ATLANTIC BUBBLE
Beginning Tuesday at 12:01 a.m., Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are suspending their participation in the Atlantic Bubble to avoid an increase of COVID-19 cases.
Anyone visiting the provinces will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
The changes will be in effect for a minimum of two weeks when both governments will re-evaluate the situation.
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.
It is mandatory to wear a face mask in indoor public spaces in Nova Scotia.
COVID-19 CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,143 Nova Scotia tests on Sunday.
To date, Nova Scotia has had 128,972 negative test results and 1,190 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 1,074 cases are now considered resolved and 65 people have died as a result of the novel coronavirus, leaving 51 active cases in the province.
There is no one in hospital due to COVID-19.
The province's confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.
Sixty per cent of cases are female and 40 per cent are male.
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: 58 cases
- Central Zone: 1,000 cases
- Northern Zone: 77 cases
- Eastern Zone: 55 cases
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to Nov. 29.
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