N.S. reports 2 new cases of COVID-19; active cases drop to 38
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia has announced two new COVID-19 cases on Monday. Five previously reported cases are now considered resolved, dropping the total number of active cases in the province to 38.
On Monday, the province announced that one of new cases is in the Central Zone, and the other is in the Western Zone; both cases are close contacts of previously reported cases.
“Our numbers may seem low but COVID is active in every region of our province,” said Premier Stephen McNeil during a news update on Monday. “I don’t say that to scare you, it’s just a reminder that COVID is still lurking and we have to follow the protocols in place to keep our numbers down.”
“Today’s numbers and the trends we are seeing are a direct result of your hard work, and that for me is a great reason to celebrate, safely and in small numbers,” added Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health.
NEW RESTRICTIONS COME INTO EFFECT
New measures meant to prevent any possible surge of COVID-19 over the holiday period have come into effect across Nova Scotia.
Starting Monday and until Jan. 10, in-person dining at restaurants in the Halifax area will remain closed, while restaurants and licensed establishments in the rest of the province will have to stop service by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.
Indoor gatherings provincewide are capped at 10 people and retail stores across Nova Scotia are required to limit the number of shoppers to 25 per cent of legal capacity.
"I'm sorry for the gathering limits, I know it's difficult to manage, but Dr. Strang has said 10 is 10," McNeil said. "The fact that we can gather at all is a blessing. Look at what's happening in other parts of our country. (It) is because of your hard work and the commitment to following the protocols in this province that we've had any resemblance of a Christmas. So, rather than thinking about what we don't have or what we can't do, maybe this is a Christmas to focus on the moment and find creative ways to celebrate."
Long-term care residents are allowed two designated caregivers while seniors facilities can permit limited visits by family members.
The province is asking citizens to avoid any unnecessary travel throughout the province and is recommending that if people need to travel, that they go directly to their final destination and stay there.
POTENTIAL EXPOSURE ON AIR CANADA FLIGHT
Late Sunday, the Nova Scotia Health Authority warned of a potential COVID-19 exposure during an Air Canada flight on Friday from Montreal to Halifax.
Passengers on flight 7560 in rows 15 to 21 and in seats A, B and C are asked to immediately book a COVID-19 test.
AUTOMATED TEST CALLS
Beginning Tuesday, N.S. health will start automated phone calls to notify people of negative COVID-19 test results.
Currently, Nova Scotians have the option to receive negative results via email, but beginning Tuesday, there will also be the option to provide a phone number to receive an automated call.
“We recognize that it’s stressful to wait for test results and it can have an impact on the ability to go to work, school and daycare, so anything we can do to make that process more efficient for those being tested is a big win,” said Catherine Hebb, director, Public Health, Nova Scotia Health.
Upon receiving an automated call, Nova Scotians will be asked to enter the last four numbers of their health card or identification number to receive their result. Email results may be received 24 hours a day. Auto-calls may occur daily between noon and 5 p.m.
“It’s very important that people keep their phones with them and on if they are expecting a test result,” said Hebb. “The caller ID will indicate unknown name, unknown number; we ask people to answer those calls. They’ll also need to have their health card or identification ready.”
If a patient cannot be reached after receiving an email and two auto-calls, they will contacted by staff from Public Health or Service Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Health has partnered with Service Nova Scotia to help deliver negative test results.
N.S. COVID-19 TESTS
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,389 tests on Sunday.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has done 99,599 tests. There have been 358 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and no deaths.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,445 cumulative confirmed cases, and 65 deaths. 1,344 cases are considered recovered, leaving 38 active cases in the province.
There is currently no one in hospital due to COVID-19.
The province's confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.
Fifty-six per cent of cases are female, and 44 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.
On Saturday, adjustments were made in Panorama, which resulted in two positive cases being removed from Nova Scotia’s total case count.
The numbers reflect where a person lives and not where their sample was collected.
- Western Zone: 82 cases
- Central Zone: 1206 cases
- Northern Zone: 94 cases
- Eastern Zone: 65 cases
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to Dec. 27.
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