Nova Scotia reports 121 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, active cases rise to 1,655
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia health officials are reporting 121 new COVID-19 cases Monday, bringing the province's total number of active cases to 1,655.
In a release, N.S. health officials say 94 of Monday's new cases are located in the province's Central zone.
Sixteen new cases were identified in the Eastern zone, six new cases are being reported in the Western zone, and five 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.
Ninety of Nova Scotia's previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active infections increasing to 1,655.
During Monday's news update, N.S. Premier Iain Rankin made some clarifications to the border restrictions, which took effect on Monday.
The province is opening a compassionate exemption application for people who are in the process of moving to Nova Scotia.
Rankin said there are "exceptional circumstances" in which people can apply for an excemption to enter the province.
If you sold your house in another province, took ownership of a house, or signed a lease in Nova Scotia, all before the border closed, you can apply under the compassionate exemption.
"We don't want you to be homeless quite frankly," Rankin said.
"For people who don't close on their home until the end of May or June 1, you're still fine."
Rankin said he is asking those who are currently buying homes or renting apartments to push your closing dates to June 1.
"We want you to come to our province, we're just asking you to delay your move until we can stop the spread of the virus," Rankin said.
People can apply for an exception if they have:
- a purchase or sale agreement for a property purchase in 2021 showing that an offer has been accepted on or before April 21 and closing date is on or before May 20
- a minimum one-year lease signed on or before April 21 and beginning on or before May 20
- a letter of acceptance for new employment in Nova Scotia that cannot be done virtually or deferred; the letter must be dated on or before May 7
Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, said people who move to Nova Scotia must still complete their 14-day quarantine and are encouraged to get tested at the beginning and end of their isolation.
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 5,021 COVID-19 tests on Sunday. Officials have completed a total of 681,537 tests since the pandemic began.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 4,038 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 2,312 cases have recovered and 71 people have died due to COVID-19.
There are currently 58 people in hospital due to COVID-19, nine of whom are in intensive care.
Since April 1, there have been 2,296 positive COVID-19 cases and five deaths. Of the cases since April 1, 636 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: 197 cases (56 active cases)
- Central Zone: 3,352 cases (1,415 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 198 cases (47 active cases)
- Eastern Zone: 291 cases (137 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to May 16, 2021.
UPDATE ON VACCINES
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Monday, 366,089 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 37,699 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.
As May 4, Nova Scotia has received a total of 388,450 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 Monday, 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.
- 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 St. 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