N.S. reports one new COVID-19 case; gathering limits increased for organized sports, arts, culture sector
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia health officials are reporting one new case of COVID-19 on Friday, with the number of active cases in the province dropping to nine.
Three of the previously reported cases are considered resolved.
The new positive case is in the Eastern zone and is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. The person is self-isolating, as required.
According to a news release from the province on Friday, there have been 533 tests administered at the rapid pop-up testing sites in Halifax and Sydney, between Jan. 22 and Jan. 28.
GATHERING LIMITS INCREASED FOR SPORTS, ARTS, AND THEATRE
Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang, announced an update to the restrictions reported last week surrounding organized sports, and the arts and culture sector.
"We are increasing the amount of people able to gather in groups from 50, up to 60 people without social-distancing for sports, practices, games, and competitions, and for arts and culture rehearsals and performances,” said Strang.
Strang reminded Nova Scotians only teams and individuals who regularly compete against each other are allowed to schedule games together for sports competitions.
PROVINCE ADDS MORE LONG-TERM CARE BEDS TO FACILITIES
Premier Stephen McNeil announced on Friday that the province will add 236 long-term care beds in the Central zone, including 44 for Northwood in Halifax. The other 192 beds will be determined through the tender process.
During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Northwood in Halifax became the epicentre of the outbreak in Nova Scotia.
As a result, more than 200 residents were infected and 53 people died.
The CEO for Northwood says the additional beds will allow them to build a facility and incorporate everything they've learned about COVID-19 in preparing for another complex virus.
"That 44 beds is in addition to the 100 beds that we've been supported by government to reduce our census in the Halifax campus, to help us prepare for a second wave," said Janet Simm, the CEO of Northwood. "So, we're looking at a new facility that will be approximately 144 beds."
"When our loved ones are ready for long-term care, they deserve to have high-quality care in a safe and comfortable environment," said McNeil. "We are investing in the long-term care system to better meet the needs of residents, their families and staff."
The plan also includes replacing or significantly renovating seven nursing homes across the province.
"Also as part of our ongoing review, seven facilities have been identified for immediate work based on their overall condition and the need to meet best practices," said McNeil.
Those facilities include:
- Northwood, Halifax
- The Birches, Musquodoboit Harbour
- Shoreham Village, Chester
- Mountain Lea Lodge, Bridgetown
- Grand View Manor, Berwick
- R.C. MacGillivray Guest Home, Sydney
- Foyer Pere Fiset, Chéticamp
"They will either be replaced or undergo major renovations," said McNeil.
According to the province, 100 beds at Northwood Halifax Campus that had been removed to create single rooms, as recommended in the review of the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility, will be built at a new location, plus an additional 44 beds.
"The Long-Term Care Infrastructure Plan also increases the annual budget for capital repairs and equipment upgrades available to all facilities," wrote the province, in a news release on Friday. "The new budget is $10.5 million annually, an increase of $8 million."
COVID-19 CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,588 tests on Thursday
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 158,872 tests. There have been 488 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths. Cases have ranged in age from under 10 to over 70. Four hundred and seventy-nine cases are now resolved.
Since the pandemic began, Nova Scotia has completed 282,050 tests. Cumulatively, there have been 1,577 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1,503 cases considered recovered.
The province has reported 65 COVID-19 related deaths since the pandemic began, with an average age of 80.
There is currently one person in hospital due to COVID-19, with nobody in the intensive care unit.
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: 92 cases (0 active cases)
- Central Zone: 1,279 cases (4 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 127 cases (2 active cases)
- Eastern Zone: 79 cases (3 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to Feb. 7, 2021.
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard now provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Thursday, 14,589 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far, with 2,714 Nova Scotians having received a second dose.
Of the vaccines administered, 7,678 were health care workers, and 954 were long-term care residents.
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.
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
A previous version of this article stated the increased gathering limit from 50, to 60 people surrounding organized sports, arts, and the culture sector was with social-distancing. This should have read without social-distancing and has been corrected in the above article.