Nova Scotia reports 118 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, active cases drop to 1,591
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia health officials are reporting 118 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the province's total number of active cases to 1,591.
The 118 new cases marks the lowest single-day total since April 30, when 67 new cases were identified. The number of active cases has also dropped for the first time since April 14.
"This week is National Nurses Week. On behalf of all Nova Scotians, thank you. Each and every one of you plays a critical role within the health-care sector. Thank you for the many sacrifices you have made," said N.S. Premier Iain Rankin in a release. "Let's show our support and appreciation to all nurses by following the public health measures."
In a release, N.S. health officials say 98 of Tuesday's new cases are located in the province's Central zone.
Eleven new cases were identified in the Eastern zone, five new cases are being reported in the Western zone, and four new cases in the Northern zone.
The province is no longer including an "exposure category" (travel, close contact, etc.), citing increased investigations.
Health officials say there is evidence of community spread in Nova Scotia's Central zone.
Public Health says the province’s other zones, Eastern, Northern, and Western, are being monitored for signs of community spread.
"I want to thank Nova Scotians for their continued support, hard work and commitment to following the public health protocols," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. "We are asking people to stick as close to home as possible and only travel outside your community when absolutely necessary. Everyone needs to use their judgment about what is necessary."
178 of Nova Scotia's previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active infections dropping to 1,591.
BACKLOG OF POSITIVE CASES CONTINUES
Public health says they continue to work through the backlog of positive cases that need to be contacted and entered into the province’s online data system. To allow for timely notification, public health is contacting confirmed COVID-19 cases and close contacts by text message when possible.
Nova Scotia Health has created a team that is immediately calling all positive cases to advise they are positive and determine whether they need supports. Public health will continue to do detailed follow up on cases and contacts as soon as they are able.
Public health says due to delays, anyone tested due to a potential exposure, because they have symptoms, or were advised by public health that they were a close contact or needed to self-isolate until receiving test results, should continue to self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Their household should also isolate until contacted. Close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases and those who were present at high-risk exposure locations are required to self-isolate for a full 14 days, regardless of their test result. In addition, anyone who becomes unwell should assume that they have COVID-19, isolate along with their household and arrange testing.
N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA
Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 4,421 COVID-19 tests on Monday. Officials have completed a total of 685,989 tests since the pandemic began.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 4,152 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 2,490 cases have recovered and 71 people have died due to COVID-19.
There are currently 64 people in hospital due to COVID-19, 10 of whom are in intensive care.
Since April 1, there have been 2,410 positive COVID-19 cases and five deaths. Of the cases since April 1, 814 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: 202 cases (55 active cases)
- Central Zone: 3,447 cases (1,354 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 202 cases (48 active cases)
- Eastern Zone: 301 cases (134 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to May 16, 2021.
VACCINE ELIGIBILITY EXPANDED TO 40 AND OVER
Nova Scotians in the 40 to 44 age group can now book appointments to receive the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
The province announced Tuesday that effective immediately, people in that age group can book appointments at community clinics and participating pharmacy and primary care clinics that offer the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
According to the province, there are about 62,000 eligible Nova Scotians in the 40-44 age group. People in that age group have also been able to book appointments for the AstraZeneca vaccine since April 30.
N.S. Health says appointments for COVID-19 vaccines in community clinics and participating pharmacies will be released on a continuous basis as vaccine supply is confirmed.
The province is encouraging all Nova Scotians 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. Appointments cannot be booked directly through a community clinic, pharmacy or physician. Walk-ins will be turned away.
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Tuesday, 374,903 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 37,784 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.
As of Tuesday, Nova Scotia has received a total of 466,900 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15
CHANGES TO ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING STRATEGY
In order to address the test result backlog, Nova Scotia is shifting their COVID-19 asymptomatic testing strategy.
In the interim, most Nova Scotians are encouraged to use pop-up testing sites instead of booking a COVID-19 lab test over the next few days.
Individuals under the following categories are still encouraged to book lab tests:
- anyone with symptoms
- anyone who has been notified that they are a close contact of a known case
- anyone who has been at an exposure location
- anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador
Public health says anyone who does not meet the above criteria and has already booked an appointment should cancel it following the instructions provided in their confirmation email.
The province says they are making an effort to increase rapid testing capacity around the province.
Pop-up testing locations being provided on Tuesday, include:
- Alderney Gate Public Library (60 Alderney Dr., Dartmouth) - from noon to 7 p.m
- Bridgewater Cineplex (349 Lahave St.) - from 2 to 7 p.m.
- Canada Games Centre (26 Thomas Raddall Dr.) - from noon to 7 p.m.
- Central Spryfield Elementary School (364 Herring Cove Rd.) - from 2 to 7 p.m
- Centre 200 (481 George St., Sydney) - from 3 to 7 p.m.
- Halifax Central Library (5440 Spring Garden Rd.) - from noon to 7 p.m.
- Halifax Convention Centre (Argyle Street entrance, 1650 Argyle St.) - from noon to 7 p.m.
- John Martin School (7 Brule St., Dartmouth) - 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