N.S. reports no new COVID-19 cases; active cases drop to 20
HALIFAX -- Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting no new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.
On Saturday, in a press release, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil praised residents for their work in lowering case numbers.
“Nova Scotians can be proud of the work they’re doing to keep our case numbers low,” said McNeil. “We need to stay the course -- following public health protocols and being kind to each other -- to keep the virus from spreading like we’ve seen in other provinces during the second wave of the pandemic.”
Meanwhile, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, warned Nova Scotians about letting their guard down.
“While our new cases each day are staying low, we can’t get complacent,” said Dr. Strang. “Please continue your vigilance and follow public health measures to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community.”
N.S. EASES ANOTHER RESTRICTION
On Saturday, the province announced support groups will be able to increase their size – an addition to eased restrictions announced on Friday.
In Saturday’s release, the province said:
“On Jan. 22, Nova Scotia announced a modest easing of restrictions that will come into effect Monday, Jan. 25. Recognizing the challenges of the pandemic, a change has been made to allow mental health and addictions support groups to meet in groups of up to 25 instead of 10, with social distancing. This also comes into effect Monday.”
Beginning Monday, sports teams will be able to play games with limited travel and no spectators.
Non-sports teams, along with arts and theatre performances are also allowed to start taking place, but without an audience.
Other provincewide public health restrictions will continue until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 7. Those include:
- gathering limit of 10, both in your home and in the community
- restaurants and licensed establishments stop service by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.
- retail businesses and malls operate at 50 per cent capacity
- fitness facilities operate at 50 per cent capacity and have three metres between people for high-intensity activities, including indoor and outdoor fitness classes
- social events, festivals, special events, arts and cultural events and sports events are not permitted
- faith gatherings, wedding ceremonies and funeral services can have 150 people outdoors or 50 per cent of an indoor venue's capacity, to a maximum of 100
- wedding receptions and funeral receptions and visitation are not permitted
MOBILE TESTING UNIT COMES TO WOLFVILLE
After an Acadia University student tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday following a 14-day quarantine, students at the university are concerned considering the student attended classes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I think everyone’s a little nervous,” said Acadia University student Eric Skinner. “Overall, I think everyone is following the procedures, and people are staying safe.”
On Saturday, students took advantage of a mobile testing unit sent to Wolfville by Public Health as a precaution.
“We often come to a community when there’s been a potential exposure notice or to provide some extra testing options for Nova Scotia,” said Nova Scotia Public Health manager Holly Gillis.
A similar clinic in Truro on the previous weekend saw 1,000 people show up to be tested. Similar to Truro’s clinic, the clinic in Wolfville on Saturday was open to anyone not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
“This is a full PCR test,” said Gillis. “What that means is, it’s not a rapid test. Nova Scotians can expect their test results in 24 to 72 hours.”
With New Brunswick placing one of its regions under lockdown due to rising COVID-19 cases, Wolfville Mayor Wendy Donovan is encouraging as many people as possible to get tested – to avoid a similar situation in the town.
“I’m just very pleased that the province reacts quickly as soon as we know that there is a case that is in the town and has been out and about,” says Donovan.
People who receive testing at the mobile unit in Wolfville are not required to self-isolate while awaiting their results.
Meanwhile, the mobile unit will continue testing in Wolfville on Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
COVID-19 CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,438 tests on Friday.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 150,480 tests. There have been 481 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths. Cases have ranged in age from under 10 to over 70. Four hundred and sixty-one cases are now resolved.
Since the pandemic began, Nova Scotia has completed 273,651 tests. Cumulatively, there have been 1,570 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1,485 cases considered recovered.
The province has reported 65 COVID-19 related deaths since the pandemic began, with the average age of death at 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-eight per cent of cases are female, and 42 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.
Cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated on Nova Scotia's COVID-19 Dashboard.
The numbers reflect where a person lives and not where their sample was collected.
- Western Zone: 92 cases (2 active cases)
- Central Zone: 1275 cases (9 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 127 cases (6 active cases)
- Eastern Zone: 76 cases (3 active cases)
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard now provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Jan. 23, 10,575 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far, with 2,705 Nova Scotians having received a second dose.
Officials say they are currently focusing on vaccine 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.
The province also plans to launch prototype clinics to help prepare to deliver and administer large quantities of the vaccine as supply increases. Those include community clinics for those aged 80 and over and clinics in First Nation and African Nova Scotian communities delivered by physicians and pharmacists.
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.
COVID-19 tests for post-secondary students can be pre-booked online three days in advance.
STATE OF EMERGENCY RENEWED
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to Feb. 7, 2021.
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