N.S. reports one new COVID-19 cases; active cases drop to 19
HALIFAX -- Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting one new case of COVID-19 on Sunday, with active cases dropping to 19.
The new case is in the Central Zone and involves a Dalhousie University student. The province says the student, who lives off-campus, is from Nova Scotia and is self-isolating now as required. The case is under investigation.
On Sunday, in a press release, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said lower case counts are good, but recent cases announced in the province aren’t so straightforward.
“A low number of cases is encouraging, but we are seeing that some of the recent cases are more complex than others,” said McNeil. “It’s another reminder that we need to stay vigilant to contain the virus - limit our social contacts, keep a social distance, wear a mask, stay home if feeling unwell and follow all the other public health measures.”
Meanwhile, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, provided precautionary advice for the colder months.
“We are spending more time indoors now,” said Dr. Strang, in the press release issued on Sunday. “Follow the public health measures: no more than 10 people in a group, practise physical distancing, wear a mask and wash your hands frequently.”
MOBILE TESTING UNIT CONTINUES IN WOLFVILLE
A steady flow of people went to the Acadia Festival Theatre in Wolfville to get tested for COVID-19 this weekend.
“When the mobile health units are deployed, the idea is that we are here to help support the communities whenever there could be a new case in the community or facility,” said Nova Scotia Public Health nurse Kara Redden. “In this case, we’re just here to let the community know that we’re here to support them and offer testing.”
After an Acadia University student tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday following a 14-day quarantine, the mobile testing units were brought to the town.
Student, Jonathan Khoo, was present for testing on Sunday after being notified that he was in the same building at the same time as the infected student.
“It’s kind of surreal because there’s this general idea that most people think that ‘it’s not going to happen to me,’” said Khoo. “So, this is the closest I’ve gotten to it I guess.”
The presence of COVID-19 in the community has prompted residents, like Gerald MacInnis, to get tested.
“I just wanted to make sure that everything was all right,” said MacInnis. “My wife, she wanted to come in because she hadn’t had a test before, and there’s a lot of stuff going around right now.”
“I was here during the one in the fall,” said Wolfville resident, Ron Stuart. “[I] tested negative then, but it’s always good because we are seniors, and we live in an apartment complex, so it’s good to know if you are negative.”
Clinics were also held at the Berwick Fire Hall and at the Acadia University Club – both requiring an appointment for testing.
While public health’s visit to Wolfville was prompted by the student infection, the clinic was open to anyone not experiencing symptoms.
“I definitely think we’ve seen a wide range of people,” said Redden. “We’ve kind of hit all demographics since we’ve been here.”
Even though there’s no word on where the mobile testing units will head next, officials say they will be ready when and where they’re needed.
EASED RESTRICTIONS COMING 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 province-wide 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
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.”
COVID-19 CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,093 tests on Saturday.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 151,573 tests. There have been 482 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths. Cases have ranged in age from under 10 to over 70. Four hundred and sixty-three cases are now resolved.
Since the pandemic began, Nova Scotia has completed 274,751 tests. Cumulatively, there have been 1,571 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1,487 cases considered recovered.
The province has reported 65 COVID-19 related deaths since the pandemic began, with the average age of death being 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.
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 (2 active cases)
- Central Zone: 1276 cases (9 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 127 cases (5 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. 24, 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.
P OST-SE CONDARY 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.
Post-secondary students returning to Nova Scotia from anywhere except Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador are strongly encouraged to visit to book a COVID-19 test for day six, seven or eight of their 14-day self-isolation period.
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
A correction has been made in this article. Originally, the article read there has been 466 resolved cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday, Jan. 24. The province has since corrected this information to 463 resolved cases, which is now reflected in the article.