HALIFAX, N.S. -- For the third day in a row, Nova Scotia is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.

The total number of confirmed cases remains at 1,058.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 763 tests for Nova Scotia on Friday.

To date, Nova Scotia has 45,094 negative test results.

The province did not report any additional deaths on Saturday. Sixty-one Nova Scotians have died from COVID-19.

The latest death was reported Thursday. It involved a man in his 70s who had underlying health conditions. He lived in the central zone and was not a resident of a long-term care home.

Fifty-three of the province’s 61 deaths have involved residents at Halifax’s Northwood long-term care home, which has seen the most significant outbreak in the province.

Additionally, a Halifax-based law firm is proposing a class-action lawsuit against the facility, claiming normal standards of care weren't met to protect against infection from COVID-19.

Active Cases At Negative Two? Inconsistencies Explained

The province says two more people have recovered, for a total of 999 COVID-19 recoveries. Their cases are considered resolved.

According to provincial numbers, 1,058 positive cases minus 61 deaths and 999 recoveries would leave active cases in Nova Scotia at a total of negative two – causing much confusion.

Despite those numbers, Northwood is reporting two active cases, involving one resident and one staff member. This means two residents have recovered from the virus since Thursday, when four active cases were reported in three residents and one staff member.

During the pandemic, there has been confusion over the number of recovered and active cases reported by the province, which don’t always match up with the numbers reported at Northwood.

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, has explained that the data from long-term care homes comes from a different data source than the one used by public health and is on a different timeline. As a result, the data isn't always congruent.

“As we have said many times, data is from a number of sources and reporting periods differ. It cannot be combined,” said Strang on Friday.

On Saturday, Strang said, while excitement is in the air, he wants everyone to be careful.

“I know many people are excited and anxious about businesses reopening or getting back to work. Our business community has done a tremendous job to prepare,” said Strang. “We’re in this together and all of the planning will only work if everyone co-operates. Please remember that COVID-19 is still here, and we all need to be cautious and safe.”

Case Breakdown

There are still three people in hospital as a result of complications due to COVID-19. Three patients are in intensive care units.

The province’s confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.

Sixty-two per cent of cases are female and 38 per cent are male.

The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s central zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality, has seen the largest number of cases.

  • Western zone: 54 cases
  • Central zone: 907 cases
  • Northern zone: 45 cases
  • Eastern zone: 52 cases

Anyone who travels outside of Nova Scotia must also self-isolate for two weeks.

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to June 14.

Reopening day for many businesses

Most businesses that were forced to close at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March were allowed to reopen on Friday. After businesses were hit hard financially, Premier Stephen McNeil encouraged residents to support the local economy.

“As we come out of an unprecedented period of public health restrictions, I ask Nova Scotians to think local and support local,” said McNeil. “Businesses that are reopening this weekend have done a lot of work to ensure they’re providing a safe environment for their patrons. Please be patient as we all adapt together.”

Businesses allowed to reopen include hair salons, barber shops, spas and gyms.

Bars and restaurants can also offer dine-in service.

Most businesses are required to operate at 50 per cent capacity to allow for physical distancing.

Some health services are also reopening, including dentists, optometrists, chiropractors and physiotherapists.

Not all businesses may choose to reopen at this time, however.

On Friday, Strang noted that businesses that weren't forced to close still must have a reopening plan, but it doesn't need to be submitted for approval.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Last month, the province expanded the list of symptoms for which it is screening.

Anyone who experiences one of the following symptoms is encouraged to take an online test to determine if they should call 811 for further assessment:

  • fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
  • cough or worsening of a previous cough
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • shortness of breath
  • muscle aches
  • sneezing
  • nasal congestion/runny nose
  • hoarse voice
  • diarrhea
  • unusual fatigue
  • loss of sense of smell or taste