HALIFAX -- There are two new presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, bringing the total number of cases in the province to seven.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the provincial government revealed the new cases are travel-related and are connected to earlier cases.

Premier Stephen McNeil, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia Health Authority CEO and President Dr. Brendan Carr and IWK Health Centre CEO and President Dr. Krista Jangaard attended the news conference.

The province says the individuals have been instructed to self-isolate for 14 days and are recovering at home. 

The province also announced that it is taking even stronger steps to curb the spread.

“Effective today, we are limiting all public gatherings to no more than 50 people,” said McNeil. “As of Thursday, restaurants will only be able to do take-out, and all drinking establishments will be closed.”

In addition, the Nova Scotia Health Authority will reduce or suspend many services. Beginning Wednesday, all elective outpatient visits will be cancelled.

“Dialysis, chemotherapy and radiation treatments will continue, as will mental health and addictions appointments,” said Carr. “All non-urgent diagnostic appointments will be rescheduled, and walk-in X-ray services will be suspended.”

As of Tuesday, no one had been hospitalized in Nova Scotia as a result of COVID-19 – but the health authority says it is prepared for the possibility.

“As we’re freeing up inpatient beds, we will be cohorting those beds and creating some spaces where we will be looking after our future COVID patients,” said Carr.

The IWK Health Centre will also be suspending all non-urgent services beginning Wednesday.

“For our women and pediatric population, that means all outpatient, ambulatory appointments will be limited to urgent care only. This includes our clinical travel clinics to other parts of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland,” said Jangaard. “Surgical procedures will be limited in the Health Centre to urgent and emergent services only.”

Meanwhile, Public Health is working to identify others who may have been in close contact with them.

Of Nova Scotia’s seven COVID-19 cases, six are presumptive, and one has been confirmed by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

There have been 934 negative test results in the province to date.

Nova Scotians who have travelled outside Canada, or have been in close contact with someone who has travelled internationally, and are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are now being asked to complete an online questionnaire before calling 811.