HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting 12 new COVID-19 cases and 91 recoveries on Tuesday, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 369.

According to a release from the province, eight of the new cases are located in the province's Central Zone - six of these cases are close contacts of previously reported cases and two remain under investigation.

Three new cases are located in the province's Eastern Zone - two of the cases are close contacts of previously reported cases and the other case is under investigation.

There is one new case in the province’s Northern Zone, involving a close contact of a previously reported case.

"I'm pleased to see our cases trending downward and Nova Scotians should be proud of their efforts," said Premier Iain Rankin in a release. "But just because we are seeing fewer cases does not mean we can disregard the public health measures. We are in a good position as we enter Phase 1 of our reopening plan tomorrow. Let's continue do our part by following the public health protocols and getting tested for COVID-19."

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.

"While I'm encouraged to see low case numbers being reported, I want to remind Nova Scotians to remain vigilant and follow all the public health measures and protocols," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, in a release. "The quickest way we will work through our reopening plan is by adhering to the restrictions that are in place. The decision to move to the next phase is not only based on COVID-19 activity, but also on public health and testing capacity, hospitalizations and vaccination rates."

The province says 91 previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases dropping to 369, the lowest number of active cases reported in the province since April 26. 

OPENING OF PROVINCEWIDE TRAVEL

Effective Tuesday, Nova Scotians can travel throughout the entire province. Previously, residents were required to stay within their municipality.

"That does mean you can see loved ones and friends but please stay outside right now," said Rankin during Monday's news update. "You can go to your favourite park, or go for a hike, or go fishing and I encourage you to explore this beautiful province."

Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, said they expect phase two of Nova Scotia's reopening plan will take effect in two weeks.

CASE DATA

On Monday, Nova Scotia labs processed 3,576 tests, and a total of 824,369 since the start of the pandemic.

There have been 5,579 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 5,125 people have recovered, and 85 have died due to COVID-19.

According to the province's online dashboard, there are currently 38 individuals in hospital, 15 of which are in the intensive care unit.

Since April 1, there have been 3,837 positive COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths. Of the new cases since April 1, 3,449 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: 278 cases (9 active)
  • Central Zone: 4,471 cases (253 active)
  • Northern Zone: 290 cases (23 active)
  • Eastern Zone: 540 cases (84 active)

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to June 13, 2021.

VACCINE UPDATE

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

As of Tuesday, 588,991 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with approximately 56.1 per cent of the province's overall population having received at least one dose.

Nova Scotia has received a total of 651,950 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.

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 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.

  • Alderney Gate Public Library (60 Alderney Dr., Dartmouth), from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Burton Ettinger School (52 Alex St., Halifax), from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Centre 200 (481 George St, Sydney), from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Cole Harbour Place (51 Forest Hills Parkway), 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 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.

A list of public exposures announced Tuesday is available here.

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 

Correction:

A previous version of this article said approximately 48.2 per cent of the province's overall population have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This should have read 56.1 per cent.