HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia public health is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday – the lowest single-day increase the province has seen in two months.

Of Monday's new cases, three are in the province's Central zone and are close contacts to previously reported cases. One case is in the Eastern zone and is related to travel.

Two COVID-19 cases reported Monday evening are connected to St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay Elementary in Halifax, not Joseph Howe Elementary, as was originally reported. Incorrect information was provided by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay Elementary will be closed to students until Monday to allow for testing of close contacts and a deep cleaning of the school. The school will inform families about at-home learning. Families and students will receive an update before Monday.

Based on this new information, Joseph Howe Elementary will reopen to students and staff on Wednesday.

There are two other cases in schools, but they are not included in Tuesday's count because they were not confirmed in time for the cutoff and will be included in Wednesday's totals.

One case is connected to Sir John A. Macdonald High in Upper Tantallon and one case is connected to Duc d'Anville Elementary in Halifax. The people were not in school this week, the education department wrote in a news release.

"The schools will close to students for the rest of the week to allow for testing of close contacts and a deep cleaning of the schools," the release states. "The schools are expected to reopen on Monday, June 21. Sir John A Macdonald will conduct exams online during the closure."

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

Twenty-nine previously reported cases in Nova Scotia are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases dropping to 97, the fewest active cases in the province since April 21.

N.S. BORDERS OPENING TO ATLANTIC CANADA JUNE 23

Also on Tuesday, Premier Iain Rankin announced that Nova Scotia's borders will be opening to Atlantic Canadians on June 23, thanks to low case numbers and hospitalizations, along with an increase in vaccinations.

The news means residents from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador will be able to travel into Nova Scotia without the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days.

Rankin says the decision to open the borders was made in consultation with Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, and his public health team, who are constantly reviewing and evaluating the epidemiology.

"The epidemiology across the region is showing similar numbers, which allows us to ease the border restrictions," said Dr. Strang. "We will be watching the situation closely; however, as we have done before, we will move quickly if we see case numbers on the rise."

PHASE 2 OF REOPENING PLAN BEGINNING WEDNESDAY

During a live news conference on Tuesday, Rankin said Phase 2 of Nova Scotia's COVID-19 reopening plan will begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Once in Phase 2, Nova Scotians will be able to partake in more activities with smaller, well-managed groups. Indoor and outdoor activities, along with social gatherings, will also have restrictions eased.

A list of all five reopening phases, along with restriction changes, can be found on the Government of Nova Scotia website.

CASE DATA

On Monday, Nova Scotia labs processed 3,757 tests, and have now processed a total of 883,415 since the start of the pandemic.

There have been 5,751 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 5,564 people have recovered, and 90 have died due to COVID-19.

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

Since April 1, there have been 4,009 positive COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths. Of the new cases since April 1, 3,888 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: 284 cases (3 active cases)
  • Central Zone: 4,574 cases (59 active cases)
  • Northern Zone: 298 cases (6 active case)
  • Eastern Zone: 595 cases (29 active cases)

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to June 27, 2021. 

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.

  • Centennial Arena (27 Vimy Ave., Halifax) 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.

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