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No new cases of COVID-19 in N.S.; province reported 'false positive' result
HALIFAX -- There were no new cases of COVID-19 identified in Nova Scotia on Saturday, as the province has clarified a previously reported case was a 'false positive test result'.
This marks the province's fourth consecutive day with no new cases, with the last new case was identified on June 9. The total number of cases reported in the province is 1,061.
At 12:15 p.m. Saturday, the province sent out a release indicating that there was one new case of COVID-19, identified at Halifax's Northwood long-term care facility.
"While our case numbers remain low, today's new case shows that COVID-19 is still here in our province," said Premier Stephen McNeil in the initial release on Saturday. "We must keep working together to follow the public health protocols and keep the spread of this virus as low as possible."
The province sent out an update at 4:42 p.m. on Saturday, saying that there were no new cases identified on Friday, June 12, and the previously announced case was a result of a 'false positive test result'.
No new deaths
Nova Scotia isn’t reporting any additional deaths from COVID-19 at this time.
Sixty-two Nova Scotians have died from COVID-19, including 53 residents at Northwood.
The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 854 Nova Scotia tests on Friday.
Only four new cases of the virus have been reported so far this month.
The province is identifying one more resolved case, bringing the total number of resolved cases to 996.
There are now three active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.
There are still two people in hospital. One patient is in the intensive care unit.
To date, Nova Scotia has 48,384 negative test results.
The 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 new case is identified in the central zone, which includes Halifax. The provincial government says cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated in Panorama, the province’s electronic information system.
- western zone: 53 cases
- central zone: 897 cases
- northern zone: 57 cases
- eastern zone: 54 cases
Long-term care facility visitation to begin Monday
On June 10, Public Health announced that there were no cases at long-term care facilities in Nova Scotia, and long-term care facilities could begin allowing outdoor visitation on June 15.
Northwood held an update on Friday, detailing the process and restrictions of visiting the facility.
When asked if additional cases at Northwood would affect or cancel scheduled visits, a representative said Northwood would follow directions from Public Health.
The home, located in Halifax’s north end, dealt with the largest outbreak of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, with 346 cases among residents and staff.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer families and friends visiting beginning June 15”, said Northwood CEO Janet Simm on Friday.
“We know how eager everyone is to see their loved ones as soon as possible, however, we must do this in a very safely orchestrated plan, following the guidelines set out for us by public health.”
Beginning next week, Northwood staff will be contacting families to schedule outdoor visits. Only two visitors will be allowed per resident.
“Families will receive written information outlining the detailed outdoor visitation processes, along with reminders of proper physical distancing and use of a mask when visiting,” said Simm.
Visits will be held outdoors in Northwood’s courtyard and will be limited to 30 minutes. A distance of two metres must be kept between residents and their visitors, and no touching will be allowed.
“Visitors will be met by a screener who will ask series of questions about their current well-being. Visitors’ temperatures will be taken, they will be asked to use hand sanitizer and clean their phones,” explained Simm.
All visitors will be required to wear a mask, given to them by staff, and will not be allowed to use the washroom facilities. No outside items or gifts will be allowed to be given to the residents.
Northwood will have eight family visits on Monday, and hopes to increase that number going forward. Visits will be scheduled seven days a week to accommodate initial visits for 400 residents.
State of emergency extended
The Nova Scotia government announced Friday that the provincial state of emergency has been extended.
The order will take effect at noon Sunday and remain in effect until June 28, unless the government terminates or extends it.
Day camps, child care and care homes
The province released guidelines for summer day camps on Friday. Summer day camps can reopen as long as they have a plan in place that adheres to the guidelines.
Starting Monday, licensed child-care centres and family daycare homes will reopen, with restrictions.
Visits to long-term care facilities and care homes for Nova Scotians with disabilities can also resume Monday, with restrictions. However, some facilities may not be ready to accept visitors at that time.
Symptoms and self-isolation
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.
Anyone who travels outside of Nova Scotia must also self-isolate for two weeks.
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
- shortness of breath
- muscle aches
- nasal congestion/runny nose
- hoarse voice
- unusual fatigue
- loss of sense of smell or taste