Nova Scotia reports 16 new COVID-19 cases, bumping active cases to 102
A health-care worker performs a test at a drive-thru COVID-19 assessment centre at the Etobicoke General Hospital in Toronto on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
HALIFAX -- There are now 102 active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, and one person is in hospital, as the province reports 16 new cases of the novel coronavirus.
After months of low case numbers, Nova Scotia has seen a spike in cases this month. This is the 13th day in a row that the province has reported positive cases of COVID-19. As of Wednesday, 134 cases of COVID-19 had been reported since Nov. 1.
Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,621 Nova Scotia tests on Tuesday.
There were 604 tests conducted at a rapid testing pop-up site in downtown Halifax Tuesday, which yielded one positive result. That person was directed to self-isolate and has been referred for a standard test.
The 16 cases are all located in the province’s Central Zone, which is seeing an outbreak and community spread at this time.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang says most of the recent cases have been confirmed in people between the ages of 18 and 35.
"They're contracting the virus from asymptomatic people in social settings," explained Strang in a news release. “While otherwise healthy younger adults are not at the highest risk for severe outcomes, their actions are crucial to protecting those around them who are more vulnerable."
The province did not release any information about the person who is in hospital.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has recorded 36,384 negative tests and 153 positive COVID-19 cases. There have been no deaths during the second wave. Fifty-one cases are considered resolved since Oct. 1, leaving 102 active cases in the province. Cases during this time period range in age from under 10 to over 70.
Since the start of the pandemic, Nova Scotia has seen a total of 131,305 negative and 1,243 positive COVID-19 tests. Of the 1,243 positive cases, 1,076 are considered resolved, and 65 people have died. The province's confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.
Forty-one per cent of cases are male and 59 per cent are female.
There are cases confirmed across the province, but most have been identified in the Central Zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality.
The numbers reflect where a person lives and not where their sample was collected.
- Western Zone: 59 cases
- Central Zone: 1,051 cases
- Northern Zone: 78 cases
- Eastern Zone: 55 cases
The provincial government says cumulative cases may change as data is updated in Panorama, the province’s electronic information system.
TIGHTER RESTRICTIONS FOR PARTS OF CENTRAL ZONE
As of 12:01 a.m. Thursday, the following measures will apply for two weeks in the western and central Halifax area, which the province defines as HRM from Hubbards to, and including, Porters Lake and communities up to Elmsdale and Mount Uniacke in Hants County:
- The gathering limit in public is five, or up to the number of members of an immediate family in a household.
- Face masks must be worn in common areas of multi-unit residential buildings, such as apartment buildings and condos.
- Restaurants and licensed establishments are closed for in-person dining. They may still provide takeout and delivery.
- Retail stores must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent or less of allowable capacity.
- Wineries, breweries and distilleries cannot hold tastings or in-person dining and must follow retail rules in their stores. Delivery and curbside pickup are allowed.
- Organized sports, recreational, athletic, arts and cultural activities and faith-based activities are paused.
- Profit and non-profit fitness and recreational facilities are closed.
- Libraries and museums are closed. This includes the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
- The casino and First Nations gaming establishments are closed.
- Stronger enforcement of illegal gatherings. Each person who attends an illegal gathering could be fined $1,000.
The restrictions will continue for two weeks until midnight Dec. 9, but they could be extended.
Staff, volunteers and designated caregivers at long-term care facilities in HRM will undergo voluntary, bi-weekly testing, starting Friday.
Schools, after-school programs and childcare will remain open. Certain personal service businesses, such as hairstylists, estheticians and nail salons, in western and central HRM can continue, except for procedures that cannot be done while a patron is wearing a mask.
Nova Scotians are also being urged to avoid non-essential travel in and out of the western and central Halifax Regional Municipality and to avoid travelling to other Atlantic provinces for non-essential reasons.
NEW RESTRICTIONS ACROSS NOVA SCOTIA
As of 12:01 a.m. Thursday, the following new restrictions apply across Nova Scotia, in all zones:
- No visitors, except for volunteers and designated caregivers, will be allowed in long-term care facilities, adult residential centres and regional rehabilitation centres licensed by the Department of Community Services.
- Sports teamsare restricted to local or regional play only.
- No extracurricular activities between schools.
HALIFAX BAR AND RESTAURANT PATRONS URGED TO GET TESTED
Nova Scotia Health is asking anyone who works in a licensed establishment or went to a bar or restaurant in the Halifax Regional Municipality after 10 p.m. in the last two weeks to book a COVID-19 test, even if they don’t have symptoms.
The announcement is part of what the government is calling a "broad asymptomatic testing strategy for people who go to or work in late-night bars and restaurants."
People who work in a licensed establishment or have been to a bar or restaurant in urban and suburban HRM after 10 p.m. since Nov. 10 are asked to visit the COVID self-assessment page to schedule a COVID-19 test.
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
SELF-ISOLATION AND MANDATORY MASKS
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.
Anyone who travels to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic region for non-essential reasons is required to self-isolate for 14 days and must fill out a self-declaration form before coming to the province. Travellers must self-isolate alone, away from others. If they cannot self-isolate alone, their entire household must also self-isolate for 14 days.
Residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are not required to self-isolate when travelling to Nova Scotia, but they must be prepared to provide proof of their place of residency at provincial borders.
Visitors from outside the Atlantic region who have already self-isolated in another Atlantic province for 14 days may travel to Nova Scotia without having to self-isolate again.
It is mandatory to wear a face mask in indoor public spaces in Nova Scotia.