Nova Scotia reports 2 new COVID-19 cases Sunday; variant case identified at Dartmouth property
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia health officials are reporting two new COVID-19 cases on Sunday. Two previously reported cases are now considered recovered, as 25 active cases remain in the province.
Both of Sunday's new cases were identified in the province's Central zone. One is related to travel and the other is under investigation.
Also on Sunday, public health confirmed a case identified earlier this month in the Central zone was the B.1.1.7 variant, first found in the United Kingdom. Officials say that case was related to international travel, and is now considered recovered. At this time, community spread has not been determined.
In connection with that confirmed variant, Public Health is asking residents of Dartmouth's Kings Wharf , as well as anyone who worked or visited any residences or businesses at this location from March 10 to March 27, to get tested for COVID-19, whether you have symptoms or not.
“While Nova Scotians have done well to keep our case counts low, we don’t have to look far to see examples of how fast the variants have spread in other provinces,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “Identifying a variant is a reminder that our situation can change very quickly. We must remain cautious.”
This brings the total number of cases of the B.1.1.7 variant (first found in the U.K.) in Nova Scotia to 14. There have also been 10 confirmed cases of the B.126.96.36.199 variant, first found in South Africa.
“Our strong adherence to public health protocols has helped us contain variant cases to date,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “We know that the variants spread more rapidly so it is very important that we are diligent with our testing and other public health measures each time a new case is identified.”
“It’s very important with this virus, period, to work quickly,” adds Dr. Lisa Barrett, an infectious disease expert. “Even more so with the variants, because there is spread before people know that they have the virus, when they don’t have symptoms.”
Barrett says despite relaxed restrictions and relatively low case numbers in the province, Nova Scotians should continue to follow COVId-19 protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand-washing.
“If we do relax all of those things, and forget about the rest of our preventative toolbox, these variants are going to spread very quickly,” says Dr. Barrett.
N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 2,585 tests on Saturday.
The province has completed 417,497 tests since the pandemic began.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 1,711 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 1,620 cases have recovered and 66 people have died due to the novel coronavirus.
There is currently one Nova Scotian in hospital due to COVID-19.
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: 106 cases (1 active case)
- Central Zone: 1,382 cases (22 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 132 cases (0 active cases)
- Eastern Zone: 91 cases (2 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to April 4, 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, 83,148 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far. Of those, 59,486 were first doses and 23,662 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.
Of the vaccines administered 42,110 went to health care workers, and 7,839 were long-term care residents.
As of Tuesday., the province has received a total of 119,110 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and are holding 21,365 in reserve for second doses and planned clinics.
However, concerns remain over the speed of the rollout.
“There are a tremendous number of Nova Scotians who are still waiting to even find out when they’re going to get their vaccine, and these are our older at-risk seniors,” says Bill VanGorder of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons.
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 provinces online self-assessment COVID-19 tool, or by calling 811.
People can also visit one of Nova Scotia’s many rapid pop-up testing sites that continue to operate throughout the province.
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