Nova Scotia reports 163 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, one new death
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia’s health officials are reporting one new death related to COVID-19, and 163 new cases Saturday.
The person was a man in his 70s who lived in the province’s Central Zone.
"It is never easy to hear that a Nova Scotian has passed away as result of COVID-19. My thoughts and prayers are with those who are grieving," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health.
"We said we'd have some very rough days ahead as we get this outbreak under control. We have been at this for a long time now and people are getting tired, but we cannot be complacent. The stakes are very high," Strang added.
There have now been 71 deaths related to COVID-19 in the province.
"Another family is suffering the loss of a loved one, and on behalf of all Nova Scotians, I want to offer my condolences," said Premier Iain Rankin. "Our province is at a serious point in the pandemic. The actions of every single Nova Scotian are critical right now. Everyone has a role to play. So, let's do it together. Let's get this virus under control."
163 NEW CASES
Of Saturday’s 163 new cases, 134 are in the Central Zone, 13 in the Northern Zone, eight in the Eastern Zone, and another eight are in the Western Zone.
According to Saturday’s media release from the provincial government, one of Saturday’s new cases involves an employee at Melville Gardens, which is a residential care facility in Halifax.
Another new case involves an employee at Harbour View Haven, a nursing home in Lunenburg, which is in the province’s Western Zone.
The province says most residents in those homes have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but staff and residents in impacted units of those homes are isolating as a precaution.
Nova Scotia public health says there is community spread in the central zone, and the other zones are being monitored for signs of spread.
On Friday, Dr. Strang said there were "more than 200 other cases" that needed to be entered into the system, separate from the 227 new cases announced that day.
"Given we are behind with case investigations, there is likely even more virus activity than we even know about. Our situation is critical, especially in the Halifax area," Strang said on Friday.
It is not clear how many of Saturday's newly announced cases are from the backlog, or how the backlog will affect new case counts in the coming days.
"There is more COVID activity in the province than we thought we would find," said Strang during Friday's update. "The numbers we are seeing are primarily due to things that happened a week or two before province wide restrictions were in place."
In an effort to shrink the backlog, Nova Scotia Health issued a separate media release Saturday, asking those awaiting results to answer their phones.
"If you have had a recent COVID-19 test; have been identified by as a close contact of someone that has COVID-19 or have a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, Nova Scotia Health is trying to call you with important information," a spokesperson for the health authority wrote in Saturday's media release.
The spokesperson continued to say that the calls maybe display a called ID of "unknown", or may originate from different parts of the province.
"This is vital in our fight against COVID-19 that Nova Scotian’s have the information they require to keep themselves and others safe," the spokesperson for the health authority wrote.
CTV News reached out to the Nova Scotia government for clarification on how the backlog may have affected Friday and Saturday's numbers, but did not immediately hear back.
SOME NEW RESTRICTIONS TAKE EFFECT
On Friday, the province announced tighter COVID-19 restrictions. Most of came into effect at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
New restrictions include extending school closures, tightening border restrictions, changing isolation requirements for rotational workers, and limits for shoppers.
As of Saturday at 8 a.m., retail stores can only sell essential products in-person. Each household must designate one shopper.
Essential product categories, as defined by the province, are:
- Pharmaceutical products, medicine and medical devices
- Personal hygiene products
- Cleaning products
- Baby and child products
- Gas stations and garages
- Computer and cellphone service and repair
- Electronic and office supplies
- Hardware supplies and home appliances
- Pet and animal supplies
- Gardening supplies
- Workplace safety supplies
- Automobile purchases (by appointment only)
Nova Scotians are also required to remain in their own communities, except for essential travel such as for work, shopping and medical appointments including testing and vaccination appointments.
“Community” is mainly defined by the province as one's municipality, though some exceptions apply.
N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA
Nova Scotia conducted 6,911 COVID-19 tests on Friday, and 668,735 total since the pandemic began.
There have been 3,754 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia.
Of those, 2,145 have recovered, and 71 people have died due to COVID-19-related causes.
There are currently 42 people in hospital due to COVID-19, which includes seven in intensive care.
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 following numbers reflect where a person lives and not where their sample was collected.
- Western Zone: 185 cumulative cases (46 active cases)
- Central Zone: 3,122 cumulative cases (1,340 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 188 cumulative cases (41 active cases)
- Eastern Zone: 259 cumulative cases (111 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to May 16, 2021.