N.S. reports 4 new cases of COVID-19; active cases drop to 22
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia health officials are reporting four new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Seven previously reported cases are now considered recovered, dropping the total number of active cases in the province to 22.
Three new cases were identified in the province's Central zone and are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. One of those cases involves a student who attends two universities, and lives off-campus.
The other new case was identified in the Northern zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case.
COVID-19 CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 2,016 tests on Monday.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 144,318 tests. There have been 472 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths. Cases have ranged in age from under 10 to over 70. Four hundred and fifty cases are now resolved.
Since the pandemic began, Nova Scotia has completed 267,489 tests. Cumulatively, there have been 1,561 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1,474 cases considered recovered.
The province has reported 65 COVID-19 related deaths since the pandemic began, with an average age of 80-years-old.
There is currently no one in hospital due to COVID-19.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the province’s confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.
Fifty-five per cent of cases are female, and 45 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: 90 cases (2 active cases)
- Central Zone: 1270 cases (13 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 122 cases (4 active cases)
- Eastern Zone: 75 cases (3 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to Jan. 24, 2021.
Nova Scotia's updated COVID-19 dashboard says 8,520 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 2,215 Nova Scotians having received a second dose.
Health officials provided an update on the program on Tuesday, that also included plans for additional vaccine storage locations and new community clinics.
"We know that Nova Scotians are eager to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and our health-care system is working as quickly as possible to make that happen," said Premier Stephen McNeil. "In an effort to vaccinate those at highest risk, and those who are critical to the health-care response in our province, we will target our efforts where they will have the greatest impact until our vaccine supply increases."
New clinic locations this week include Colchester-East Hants Health Centre, and two long term-care facilities: Northside Community Guest Home in North Sydney and Harbourstone Enhanced Care in Sydney.
“We now have clinics in every zone in the province, vaccinating frontline health care workers. We are also at five long-term care facilities this week, three of them in metro Halifax and two in Cape Breton,” said McNeil during Tuesday’s news update.
Over the next three months, the province will focus on delivery to health-care workers directly involved in the COVID-19 response, as well as staff, residents and designated caregivers in long-term care and residential care facilities.
As the supply of vaccine increases, the province will also launch community clinics for the public, beginning with Nova Scotians age 80 and over, as well as clinics in First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities delivered by physicians and pharmacists.
"Our immunization plan has been strategic and flexible from the start and it will continue to evolve as more information about the vaccines, our supply and best practices becomes available," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. "Age will be the main way we prioritize community immunization, because we know the impact COVID-19 has on older people."
TEMPORARY REDUCTION IN SHIPMENTS
Since Dec. 15, Nova Scotia has received 23,000 doses of vaccine, but the province will see a temporary reduction, of at least 13,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in January and February.
"This reduction is simply due to the Pfizer production plant in Europe," Strang said. "It's closing down a production line so they can switch to another production line and that's all with the purpose of over time, greatly increasing their capacity so it's a bit of short-term pain for long term gain."
Northwood was the first long-term care facility in the province to start vaccinating residents.
As of Monday, close to 90 per cent of residents at the Halifax and Bedford campuses have now been vaccinated.
"I think people have to understand that there is a lot of preparation for the vaccine," said Josie Ryan of
Northwood. "Like, if you have four residents to be vaccinated you have to wait until you have 10 people for that vaccination because you're not going to waste one drop so when you open a vial you only have six hours to give that vaccination to people."
The premier says there are clinics in all of Nova Scotia's health zones, and this week, vaccinations took place at five long-term care facilities, three in Halifax and two in Cape Breton, but many others are still waiting to hear from public health when they start immunizing their residents.
"We know that our seniors are most vulnerable to COVID-19 so to know that we have a level of protection that we can give them so that they're less at risk," said Tracey Tullochof Rosecrest Communities."The thought of being able to have sort of a pre-pandemic normal that we had is something that we look forward to having. We're not sure what the timeline is on that, but we really look forward to being able to gather a little more than we are right now."
POST-SECONDARY STUDENTS RETURNING TO N.S.
Any post-secondary students returning to Nova Scotia are required to self-isolate for 14-days upon arrival. Government officials are also strongly encouraging them to get tested halfway through that isolation period, either on day 6, 7 or 8.
"We have had between 3,500 and 4,000 students come back, out of that we've had 63 per cent tested and 12 positives," said Strang on Tuesday. "The reason they've tested positive is not because of symptoms, but because they've came forward and been tested as part of their quarantine protocol as we're requesting them to. I want to give kudos to both the universities and the university students on how seriously they are taking the requirement around the 14-day self isolation."
COVID-19 tests for post-secondary students can be pre-booked online three days in advance.
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