N.S. reports two COVID-19 related deaths, 84 new cases Friday; active cases drop to 1,028
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting two COVID-19 related deaths Friday, bringing the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 in the province to 76.
Both deaths involve men in their 70s, located in the Central zone.
“My thoughts and prayers go to the two families today who are grieving the loss of loved ones,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia chief medical officer of health.
They are the seventh and eighth deaths this month due to COVID-19 in the province.
“The passing of these eight Nova Scotians in 11 days is a stark reminder that we continue to face a very serious situation,” said Strang.
84 NEW CASES
The province also reported 84 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 1,028.
In a news release from the province, it says 66 of Friday's new cases are in the province's Central zone. Eleven new cases were reported in the Eastern zone, six are in the Northern zone, and one is in the Western zone.
Public health says one of the new cases in the Central zone involves a staff member of Melville Lodge, a nursing home in Halifax. At the direction of public health and as an added precaution, residents and staff from the affected unit are being tested. Most residents have been fully vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
There is community spread in Central zone and now in Sydney. Northern and Western zones continue to be closely monitored for community spread. There are some areas of concern, particularly in Bridgewater, New Minas and Kentville. Testing has been increased in these areas.
The province says 197 previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases dropping to 1,028, the lowest number of active cases reported in the province since May 3.
The province announced a series of public exposure sites on Friday evening.
SECOND ROUND OF SPENDING ANNOUNCED FOR BUSINESSES
In Friday’s conference, Premier Iain Rankin announced he will be sending out a total of $17 million to small businesses in the province. It is the second round of bursaries for small businesses in the third wave.
"I know this latest shutdown has been very difficult for everyone," said Rankin. "Especially our small businesses. I’ve actually joined in on some of the consultations myself recently and learned how government can help some more."
Rankin says every business that was eligible for the first round will get an additional cheque for $5,000. New applicants will also receive $5,000, if approved.
"We value your contribution to the economy, and quite frankly, we need you," said Rankin. "You are the backbone of Nova Scotia."
"These next three weeks are critical to get us where we need to be," Said Rankin. "If our numbers continue to go down, and our vaccination coverage continues to go up, we’ll be in a very good place to open our economy."
He adds that more information is expected to be released next week.
CRITERIA EXPANDED FOR MOVING TO N.S.
Also on Friday, the Nova Scotia government announced it’s expanding criteria for people moving to the province, as well as adding flexibility for travel from P.E.I.
"We are responding to concerns we have heard from people who are moving here," said Premier Iain Rankin. "Our restrictions are remaining for a little longer as we try to crush this third wave but hopefully these modifications at the border and for travel from PEI for work, school and veterinary services will provide relief."
As of Friday, those who have the following can move to Nova Scotia, along with their immediate family if they already live together:
- A purchase and sale agreement for a property purchase showing that an offer has been accepted on or before May 1, 2021.
- Proof of ownership of property in Nova Scotia, and either a purchase and sale agreement for a property or notice of termination of their lease agreement in another province or territory.
- A minimum one-year lease signed on or before May 1, 2021.
- A letter of acceptance for new employment in Nova Scotia. The province says it cannot be done virtually or deferred, and the letter must be dated on or before May 7, 2021.
The province says people who meet the above criteria have to apply through Nova Scotia’s Safe Check-in, with a plan for the mandatory 14-day isolation. The province also recommends against starting travel to Nova Scotia without prior approval, as entry could be denied.
Also announced Friday: the travel protocol that exists between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick is now expanded to include P.E.I.
People can now use that protocol to travel between Nova Scotia and either province for work, school, child care, and veterinary services.
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Wednesday, 483,549 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Approximately 40.8 per cent of the province’s overall population has received at least one dose, with 4.1 per cent having received two doses.
"This has been a very successful week in the vaccination program," said Strang. "We're seeing strong uptake among young Nova Scotians after we opened to 25 to 29 year-olds on Wednesday."
He says this uptake has been especially strong in the 25-34-year-old group.
“If you don’t have an appointment yet, don’t be discouraged,” said Strang. “More appointments will continue to be added and opening regularly over the coming weeks, so keep checking.”
As of Tuesday, Nova Scotia has received a total of 519,550 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.
N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 7,041 tests on Thursday, bringing the total number of tests since the pandemic began to 762,343.
Public health says there were also 27,953 tests administered between May 14 and 20 at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Sydney, Dartmouth, Halifax, Bridgewater, New Minas and Kingston.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 5,149 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 4,045 cases have recovered and 76 people have died due to the novel coronavirus.
According to the province's online dashboard, there are currently 84 individuals in hospital, 21 of which are in the intensive care unit.
Since April 1, there have been 3,407 positive COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. Of the new cases since April 1, 2,369 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: 255 case (41 active cases)
- Central Zone: 4,207 cases (804 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 255 cases (51 active cases)
- Eastern Zone: 432 cases (132 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to May 30, 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 many rapid pop-up testing sites that continue to operate throughout the province.
The province says they are making an effort to increase rapid testing capacity around the province.
Pop-up testing locations being provided on Friday include:
- Alderney Gate Public Library, Dartmouth, from noon to 7 p.m.
- Central Spryfield Elementary School, 364 Herring Cove Rd., from noon to 7 p.m
- Centre 200, 481 George St., Sydney, from 3 to 7 p.m.
- Halifax Central Library from noon to 7 p.m.
- Halifax Convention Centre, Halifax, from noon to 7 p.m.
- John Martin School, 7 Brule St., Dartmouth, from noon to 7 p.m.
- Sackville Sports Stadium from noon to 7 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
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose/nasal congestion