HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia announced one new case of COVID-19 on Saturday.

The new case announced on Saturday is connected to the Northwood long-term care facility in Halifax.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 561 tests on Friday.

To date, Nova Scotia has 37,671 negative test results.

22 active cases in the province

A total of 1,049 positive cases have been confirmed in Nova Scotia. Of those cases, 969 people have recovered, and 58 people have died – this leaves 22 active cases in the province.

Of the 22 active cases, 16 are at the Northwood long-term care facility in Halifax, which currently has 12 residents and four staff members with active cases of COVID-19. One other facility has one resident with an active case.

As of Thursday, 52 of the 58 COVID-19-related deaths in Nova Scotia have been at Northwood.

The province did not report any additional deaths on Saturday.

Cautious reopening  

As the province has begun to reopen some facilities, businesses, and activities, Premier Stephen McNeil thanked Nova Scotians, who have endured a long wait.

“As we prepare to reopen our province safely, I want to continue to thank Nova Scotians for their patience and vigilance. I know this has been difficult,” said McNeil. “For those who have reopened, I want to acknowledge your strong efforts to do so safely. Public safety will remain the focus of our actions going forward.”

Chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang said the trend in lower COVID-19 case numbers should give residents a sense of pride – noting continued adherence to health and safety guidelines will help in keeping numbers as low as possible.

“New case numbers are staying low and we continue to head in the right direction. We can, and should, be proud of how we’ve fared,” said Strang. “With nicer weather and looser restrictions, I ask all Nova Scotians to continue practising good hygiene, limiting non-essential travel, staying home if you’re feeling unwell, limiting large groups and wearing non-medical masks when and where appropriate.”

What we know about the confirmed cases

Six people are currently in hospital; three of those patients are in intensive care units.

The confirmed cases of COVID-19 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 announced on Saturday is located in the central zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The western, northern and eastern zones are reporting no additional cases at this time.

  • Western zone: 54 cases
  • Central zone: 900 cases
  • Northern zone: 44 cases
  • Eastern zone: 51 cases

Public health is working to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with the confirmed cases.

Second wave expected

On Friday Strang reiterated that, while the first wave is coming to an end, Nova Scotians will need to adjust to a “new normal” while living with the reality of COVID-19.

“As we come out of the first wave of COVID-19, it’s not about going back to where we were in 2019,” said Strang. “Some things need to be maintained that allow us to live with COVID in a reasonable way.”

Strang said Nova Scotia will likely see a second wave of the virus in the fall or winter.

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.

As Nova Scotia moves forward with its COVID-19 situation, it is also expanding the list of symptoms for which it is testing.

Nova Scotians who experience any of the following symptoms should take an online questionnaire to determine if they should call 811 for further assessment:

  • fever, 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
  • red, purple or blueish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause

On Friday, Strang said the expansion is based on growing knowledge of the virus, and all provinces and territories are adopting the expanded list of symptoms.

"We’ve learned over the last few months that COVID-19 actually can present in a more diverse way – a greater number of symptoms than we originally understood at the beginning of the first wave,” said Strang.