HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting 17 new COVID-19 cases and 28 recoveries on Tuesday, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 171.

"I'm pleased to see our cases remain low and Nova Scotians should be proud of their efforts," said Premier Iain Rankin. "As we move through our reopening phases, we still need to be cautious. Remember to continue to follow the public health measures and make testing a regular part of your routine."

According to a release from the province, nine of Tuesday's cases are located in the province's Central zone. Five of the cases are close contacts of previously reported cases and four are under investigation.

One of those cases, reported Monday night, is linked to Halifax West High School in the Central zone, and is under investigation.

Seven new cases are located in the province's Eastern zone, all involving close contacts of previously reported cases.

There is one new case in the province’s Western zone involving a close contact of a previously reported case.

No new cases were reported in the Northern zone on Tuesday.

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.

"It is nice to see Nova Scotians getting back to doing some of the things we had to pause during lockdown, but we need to stay vigilant," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. "As excited as we are to see friends and loved ones again, please remember to keep the gatherings outdoors, keep your groups small and consistent, maintain distance between groups, get tested often, and practice good public health protocols like masking and washing your hands."

The province says 28 previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases dropping to 171 - the lowest number of active cases reported in the province since April 23. 

CASE DATA

On Monday, Nova Scotia labs processed 2,536 tests, and a total of 851,590 since the start of the pandemic.

There have been 5,694 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 5,435 people have recovered, and 88 have died due to COVID-19.

According to the province's online dashboard, there are currently 17 individuals in hospital, seven of whom are in an intensive care unit.

Since April 1, there have been 3,952 positive COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths. Of the new cases since April 1, 3,759 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: 282 cases (5 active)
  • Central Zone: 4,536 cases (113 active)
  • Northern Zone: 299 cases (12 active)
  • Eastern Zone: 577 cases (41 active)

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to June 13, 2021.

APPOINTMENTS OPEN FOR SECOND DOSE OF ASTRAZENECA

Nova Scotians who received their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, on or before April 21, are now able to reschedule their second dose appointment before June 30.

The province says rescheduling notices will be sent this week by email to the account provided at the time of booking. Anyone who did not provide an email must call instead.

Dr. Strang is also recommending anyone who received a single dose of the Astrazeneca vaccine should opt for either Pfizer or Moderna for their second dose, citing emerging evidence and the risk of rare but serious blood clots.

However, Strang says people will still have a choice when it comes to which vaccines they want.

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

As of Tuesday, 642,718 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with approximately 61.5 per cent of the province's overall population having received at least one dose.

Nova Scotia has received a total of 724,260 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.

COVID-19 vaccination appointments can be made online or by phone at 1-833-797-7772.

Appointments cannot be booked directly through a community clinic, pharmacy or physician. Walk-ins will be turned away.

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.

  • Alderney Gate Public Library (60 Alderney Dr., Dartmouth), from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Centennial Arena (27 Vimy Ave., Halifax) from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Centre 200 (481 George St, Sydney), from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Cineplex Cinemas Bridgewater (349 Lahave St., Bridgewater) 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