HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting 14 new COVID-19 cases and nine recoveries on Thursday, as the province announces plans to move up second doses. 

Public health says 12 of the new cases are in the province’s Central zone. Eleven are close contacts of previously reported cases and the other is under investigation.

One new case is in the Eastern zone, involving a close contact of a previously reported case.

One new case is in the Western zone and is related to travel.

No new cases were reported in the province's Northern zone on Thursday.

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.

MOVING UP SECOND DOSES

Nova Scotia says it is speeding up the delivery of second doses as the province is set to receive a large shipment of vaccine in the coming weeks.

Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, says Nova Scotia is on tap to get 400,000 doses of vaccine, most of which are Moderna.

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

It means every one will get their second doses much earlier than originally scheduled.

Strang said planning is underway and public health will have more concrete information in the days ahead.

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

Strang also said during Thursday's live COVID-19 news conference that he has heard of some people holding off on their second dose of vaccine to wait for a Pfizer shot.

He says it's a move he advises against given the next vaccine shipment will include less Pfizer and more Moderna.

"Regardless of what vaccine you got for your first dose, take the first available appointment for Moderna or Pfizer," said Strang.

Strang added the sooner we can see 75 per cent of Nova Scotians with both COVID-19 doses, the sooner the province can return to normal.

CASE DATA

On Wednesday, Nova Scotia labs processed 5,977 tests, and have now processed a total of 894,956 since the start of the pandemic.

There have been 5,773 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 5,586 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 4,031 positive COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths. Of the new cases since April 1, 3,910 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: 285 cases (four active cases)
  • Central zone: 4,591 cases (62 active cases)
  • Northern zone: 298 cases (four active case)
  • Eastern zone: 599 cases (27 active cases)

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

VACCINE UPDATE

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

As of Thursday, 735,008 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with approximately 67.6 per cent of the province's overall population having received at least one dose. Of those, 58,854 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.

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