HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting 11 new COVID-19 cases and 15 recoveries on Friday, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 93.

"Nova Scotia will receive its largest shipment of vaccine in the coming weeks," said Premier Iain Rankin in a news release. "When you get an email to reschedule your second dose for an earlier date, do it. The sooner we can get Nova Scotians fully vaccinated, the sooner we will get back to normal."

Public health says nine of the new cases are in the province’s Central zone. Six cases involve close contacts of previously reported cases, two are under investigation and one is related to travel.

Two new cases are in the Eastern zone and are related to travel.

No new cases were reported in the province's Western or Northern zones on Friday.

"It's important to continue to get tested for COVID-19, even if you've had one dose of vaccine," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. "Testing remains key to our COVID-19 response and that will continue as we reopen."

Public Health says there is now “limited community spread” in the Central zone. The Eastern, Northern and Western zones continue to be closely monitored for community spread.

VACCINE SECOND DOSES MOVED UP

More Nova Scotians are now able to book an appointment to receive their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine earlier than originally scheduled.

In a news release Friday, the province announced that effective immediately, anyone who received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on or before May 14 and are scheduled to receive their second dose on or before August 27, can now reschedule their appointment to receive their second dose at an earlier date.

During a news update on Thursday, Dr. Robert Strang, N.S. chief medical officer of health, said the province is on tap to receive 400,000 doses of vaccine, most of which are Moderna, allowing Nova Scotians to get their second doses much earlier than originally scheduled.

"This is a dramatic surge in our supply and well above the maximum we anticipated," said Strang. "But ultimately, it’s a game changer."

Strang said the surge in supply could mean expanding all areas of vaccine delivery, including longer clinic hours, more people and possibly more clinics.

On Friday, the province has also shortened the minimum interval for second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. On Thursday, the National Advisory Committee advised that when mixing vaccines, the minimum interval between doses should be based on the minimum interval of the product used for the first dose. Based on that statement, anyone who received a first dose of AstraZeneca in Nova Scotia can now reschedule their second dose for 28 days later. The current supply of AstraZeneca expires June 30.

Public health says recipients will receive an email to the account provided at the time of booking.

Anyone who did not provide an email must call the toll-free line at 1-833-797-7772 to reschedule or to request an email address be added.

When rescheduling the second dose, people will select a new date and time at any clinic across the province that has an available appointment.

The province says notices will continue to be sent over the following weeks as vaccine supply is received.

Anyone who has received a first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine can choose a second dose of either Pfizer or Moderna.

Anyone who has received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can now receive a second dose of AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna.

Nova Scotia health recommends people who received a first dose of AstraZeneca receive Pfizer or Moderna for their second dose, “based on emerging evidence of a better immune response with an alternate second dose and the risk of rare but serious blood clotting events associated with AstraZeneca”.

The province's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the number of vaccines that have been administered to date.

As of Friday, 752,599 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with approximately 68.8 per cent of the province's overall population having received at least one dose. Of those, 66,248 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.

The province says it has received a total of 788,770 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.

All Nova Scotians are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they are eligible. COVID-19 vaccination appointments can be made online or by phone at 1-833-797-7772. 

CASE DATA

On Thursday, Nova Scotia labs processed 5,602 tests, and have now processed a total of 900,272 since the start of the pandemic.

There have been 5,784 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 5,601 people have recovered, and 90 have died due to COVID-19.

According to the province's online dashboard, there are currently six individuals in hospital, three of whom are in an intensive care unit.

Since April 1, there have been 4,042 positive COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths. Of the new cases since April 1, 3,925 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: 279 cases (four active cases)
  • Central zone: 4,448 cases (64 active cases)
  • Northern zone: 298 cases (four active case)
  • Eastern zone: 601 cases (21 active cases)

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to June 27, 2021.

BREAKTHROUGH DATA

Public Health says they will now report 'breakthrough cases' weekly.

A breakthrough case involves a person becoming COVID-19 positive two weeks after receiving either one or two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Public Health, there were 4,066 COVID-19 cases from March 15 to June 15, 2021. Of those:

  • 25 (0.6 per cent) were fully vaccinated
  • 218 (5.4 per cent) were partially vaccinated
  • 3,823 (94 per cent) were unvaccinated

There were 250 people hospitalized. Of those:

  • Two (0.8 per cent) were fully vaccinated
  • 27 (10.8 per cent) were partially vaccinated
  • 221 (88.4 per cent) were unvaccinated

Twenty-four people died. Of those:

  • One (4.2 per cent) was fully vaccinated
  • Three (12.5 per cent) were partially vaccinated
  • 20 (83.3 per cent) were unvaccinated

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 rapid pop-up testing sites that continue to operate throughout the province.

  • Centennial Arena (27 Vimy Ave., Halifax) from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Halifax Central Library (5440 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax, NS), from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Halifax Convention Centre (1650 Argyle St., Halifax), from 2 p.m. to 9 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
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose/nasal congestion