HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting 15 new cases of COVID-19 and 37 recoveries on Friday, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 251.

According to a release from the province, nine of Friday's new cases are located in the province's Central Zone. Six of the cases are close contacts of previously reported cases, two are related to travel and one is under investigation.

Six new cases are located in the province's Eastern Zone. Four of the cases are close contacts of previously reported cases and two are related to travel.

There are no new cases in the Northern or Western Zones.

Public Health says there is now “limited community spread” in the Central Zone. The Eastern, Northern and Western Zones continue to be closely monitored for community spread.

The province says 37 previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases dropping to 251, the lowest number of active cases reported in the province since April 24.

AIRPORT TESTING TO BEGIN TUESDAY

Passenger testing at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport will begin on June 8.

Travellers who arrive at the airport will be provided with a self-swab kit. Nova Scotia Health Authority staff will be onsite daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to swab anyone who is unable to self-swab or needs support.

Every passenger aged five and older will be able to participate in the airport testing.

Those arriving after hours will take the self-swab kit to their self-isolation location to complete it there. The swab must be completed within 48 hours of arriving in the province and can be dropped off at a primary assessment centres.

The self-swab kit is a PCR test - a lab-based test similar to the one used at primary assessment centres. People will receive results by phone or email within 72 hours of dropping it off.

"COVID-19 testing is an important part of Nova Scotia's reopening plan," Premier Iain Rankin said in a release.

"I'm pleased that we are now in a position to offer testing at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Screening people as soon as they enter the province will help us quickly identify and respond to cases."

CHANGES FOR ROTATIONAL WORKERS

Also on Tuesday, Nova Scotia is changing self-isolation requirements for rotational workers based on their vaccine status.

Rotational workers who have no symptoms and have been fully vaccinated at least two weeks before arriving in Nova Scotia will no longer need to self-isolate. They must get tested on day one or two, again on day five or six, and again on day 12, 13 or 14.

Rotational workers will be asked to identify their vaccination status while completing the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in application. The border approval team will contact the applicant the following day to request proof of vaccination.

Partially vaccinated workers who received one dose of vaccine at least two weeks before arriving in Nova Scotia still need to self-isolate for at least seven days.

If they are coming from an outbreak site, they must isolate completely until they get their second negative test result and then they can stop isolating after day seven.

If they are not coming from an outbreak site, partially vaccinated workers must isolate completely until they get their first test result and then they can switch to modified isolation. After their second negative test result, they can stop isolating after day seven.

There is no change to the self-isolation requirement for rotational workers who are not vaccinated.

WORKPLACE TESTING PILOT

Public health is piloting a workplace testing program across the province.

Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, said almost 50 employers, as well as the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, have signed on.

The workplaces will receive free rapid tests and all necessary training.

The province says it will have further information on the pilot project in the coming days and how it plans to make it available to more employers.

CASE DATA

On Thursday, Nova Scotia labs processed 5,235 tests, and a total of 833,966 since the start of the pandemic.

Public health says there were 14,783 tests administered between May 28 and June 3 at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Dartmouth, Halifax and Sydney.

There have been 5,633 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 5,294 people have recovered, and 88 have died due to COVID-19.

According to the province's online dashboard, there are currently 21 individuals in hospital, eight of whom are in the intensive care unit.

Since April 1, there have been 3,891 positive COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths. Of the new cases since April 1, 3,618 are now considered resolved.

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: 279 cases (5 active)
  • Central Zone: 4,498 cases (162 active)
  • Northern Zone: 296 cases (21 active)
  • Eastern Zone: 560 cases (63 active)

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to June 13, 2021.

BREAKTHROUGH DATA

Public Health says they will now report 'breakthrough cases' weekly.

A breakthrough case involves a person becoming COVID-19 positive two weeks after receiving either one or two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. 

According to Public Health, there have been 3,902 cases from March 15 to June 1, 2021. Of those:

  • 24 (0.6 per cent) were fully vaccinated
  • 187 (4.8 per cent) were partially vaccinated
  • 3,691 (94.6 per cent) were unvaccinated

242 individuals were hospitalized, of those:

  • Two (0.8 per cent) were fully vaccinated
  • 26 (10.7 per cent) were partially vaccinated
  • 214 (88.4 per cent) were unvaccinated

19 individuals died, of those:

  • One (5.3 per cent) was fully vaccinated
  • Two (10.5 per cent) were partially vaccinated
  • 16 (84.2 per cent) were unvaccinated

VACCINE UPDATE

Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the number of vaccines that have been administered to date.

As of Friday, 621,661 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with approximately 56.1 per cent of the province's overall population having received at least one dose.

Nova Scotia has received a total of 651,950 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.

COVID-19 vaccination appointments can be made online or by phone at 1-833-797-7772.

Appointments cannot be booked directly through a community clinic, pharmacy or physician. Walk-ins will be turned away.

NOVA SCOTIANS ENCOURAGED TO SEEK ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING

Public health is strongly encouraging Nova Scotians to seek asymptomatic COVID-19 testing, particularly if they have had several social interactions, even with their own social circle.

COVID-19 tests can be booked through the province's online self-assessment COVID-19 tool, or by calling 811.

People can also visit one of Nova Scotia’s rapid pop-up testing sites that continue to operate throughout the province.

  • Alderney Gate Public Library (60 Alderney Dr., Dartmouth), from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Centennial Arena (27 Vimy Ave., Halifax) from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Centre 200 (481 George St, Sydney), from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Cole Harbour Place (51 Forest Hills Parkway), from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Halifax Central Library (5440 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax, NS), from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Halifax Convention Centre (1650 Argyle St., Halifax), from 2 p.m. to 9 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.

Nova Scotia Public Health updated its list of potential public exposure sites on Friday evening.

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
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose/nasal congestion