Nova Scotia reports 126 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, active cases rise to 1,531
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia health officials are reporting 126 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, as the active number of cases in the province increases to 1,531.
In a news release from the province, it says 106 of the cases are in the province's Central zone, nine are in the Eastern zone, nine are in the Western zone, and two are in the Northern zone.
"Today's numbers are a clear reminder that while we are on the right track, we cannot let down our guard," said Premier Iain Rankin in a news release. "It is crucial that we all continue to follow the public health protocols and get tested regularly. Stay in your community, stay positive and stay safe."
Health officials say there is evidence of community spread in Nova Scotia's Central zone.
One of the cases in Central Zone involves a tenth patient in a non-COVID unit at the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre. They had been discharged and are recovering at home.
Public Health says all other patients in the non-COVID unit have tested negative and are being closely monitored. As a precaution, Nova Scotia Health Authority is testing staff and doctors who have worked in the unit.
Public Health says the province’s other zones– Eastern, Northern, and Western– are being monitored for signs of community spread.
The province says testing has been increase in some areas of concern, particularly in Sydney, Bridgewater and the Annapolis Valley from New Minas to Kentville.
"We knew we would have some ups and downs as we worked to get this outbreak under control," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health in a release. "We can get these numbers down if we stay the course and continue to follow all public health measures. Stay close to home and be kind to one another."
The province says 103 previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases rising to 1,531.
Nova Scotia also reported a number of potential COVID-19 exposures throughout the province on Sunday. A full list of those exposures can be found on their website.
N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 6,660 tests on Saturday, bringing the total number of tests since the pandemic began to 725,765.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 4,736 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 3,133 cases have recovered and 72 people have died due to the novel coronavirus.
According to the province's online dashboard, there are currently 92 individuals in hospital, 21 of which are in the intensive care unit.
Since April 1, there have been 2,994 positive COVID-19 cases and six deaths. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. Of the new cases since April 1, 1,457 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: 244 cases (75 active cases)
- Central Zone: 3,911 cases (1,273 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 228 cases (58 active case)
- Eastern Zone: 353 cases (125 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to May 30, 2021.
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Friday, 415,570 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 38,830 are Nova Scotians who 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.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, says as of Thursday, 45 per cent of eligible Nova Scotians have had one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
He says the province is ahead of schedule in regards to getting everyone vaccinated.
Also on Friday, the province announced Nova Scotians aged 35 to 39 are now eligible to begin booking appointments for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
Strang says they are also looking into the time between first and second doses, and if it can be shortened at this time.
"Second-dose appointments are automatically booked 105 days after the first-dose appointment but we may be able to move that timeline up and also allow more flexibility in the location where you can get immunized," said Strang.
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 Sunday include:
- Alderney Gate Public Library, Dartmouth from noon to 7 p.m.
- Bridgewater Cineplex, 349 Lahave St from noon to 6 p.m.
- Central Spryfield Elementary School, 364 Herring Cove Rd from noon to 7 p.m
- Centre 200, 481 George St, Sydney from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Halifax Central Library from noon to 7 p.m.
- Halifax Convention Centre, Halifax 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