N.S. reports 24 new COVID-19-related deaths, drop in new cases, hospitalizations
Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting an increase in new deaths in the province's weekly COVID-19 update.
The province announced 24 deaths due to COVID-19 Thursday – six more than what was reported last week.
That ties with the most deaths recorded in one week since the pandemic began.
The data released Thursday covers a seven-day period ending May 16.
"My thoughts are with the 24 families who've lost their loved ones to COVID-19," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, in a news release Thursday.
"Getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, staying home when we're sick - these are small signs of respect to those families and to the many others whose lives have been, and still are, impacted by this virus."
The province says the risk of death is nearly 114 times higher for people aged 70 and older, compared to younger people.
Of the 24 deaths announced this week, 22 people -- or 91.7 per cent -- were 70 years of age or older, and nine people – or 37.5 per cent – lived in long-term care facilities.
Since the start of the Omicron wave, which began on Dec. 8, 2021, Nova Scotia has reported 266 deaths related to COVID-19, with a median age of 81.
Since the start of the pandemic, the province has reported 378 COVID-19-related deaths.
Health officials say 59 more people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 -- a drop of six from last week’s numbers.
Of those currently in hospital:
- eight are in ICU
- 16 per cent are unvaccinated
The province says the risk of hospitalization is about 11 times higher for those aged 70 years and older, compared to younger people.
Since the start of the fifth wave, the median age of hospitalizations is 71.
Nova Scotia is reporting 2,513 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 -- 605 fewer cases than what was reported last week.
Since the start of the fifth wave, the median age of PCR-confirmed cases is 43.
VACCINES AND BOOSTERS
As of Thursday, 65.5 per cent of Nova Scotians aged 18 and older have received a booster dose and 52,725 people have received a fourth dose of vaccine.
Second booster doses are available to residents of long-term and residential care facilities, adults 70 and over living in the community, and members of First Nations communities 55 and older in Nova Scotia.
According to the province, evidence shows immunity gained from vaccines wanes more quickly among those aged 70 and older – which is why a second booster dose is recommended for that age group.
According to the province, having at least one booster dose reduces the risk of hospitalization by 85 per cent and the risk of death by more than 92 per cent, compared to those who are unvaccinated or have only one dose.
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