HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia announced 31 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 293.

This is the biggest one-day spike in cases in the province so far.

The province says 650 tests were completed at the QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab on Sunday.

Most cases of COVID-19 are related to travel or a known case, but community spread has been confirmed in the province.

Because of this, the provincial government says lab capacity will increase to allow for more testing. It is expected that 1,000 tests will be conducted each day, with the lab testing around the clock, starting Monday.

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, also says travel has been removed as one of the screening requirements for assessment.

“Starting today, we’ll be looking for any Nova Scotians who have developed fever or a new or worsening cough,” said Strang during a news conference on Monday. “Those are the symptoms … that are the predominant symptoms of COVID-19.”

The province’s confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90, with 65 per cent of cases ranging in age from 20 to 64.

Fifty-two per cent of cases are female and 48 per cent are male.

Nine people are currently in hospital. A news release previously stated that 10 people are in hospital, but Strang later clarified that number, saying that a total of 10 people have been admitted to hospital as a result of COVID-19. One person has since been released from hospital, so nine remain.

Sixty-four people have recovered from the virus and their cases are considered resolved.

There are cases across the province, with the central zone seeing the biggest spike.

More information about Nova Scotia’s confirmed cases is now available online, broken down by the Nova Scotia Health Authority zones:

  • Western zone: 41 cases
  • Central zone: 197 cases
  • Northern zone: 28 cases
  • Eastern zone: 27

Nova Scotia COVID-19 map

Public health is working to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with the confirmed cases.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate at home, away from people, for 14 days.

Anyone who has travelled outside the province must also self-isolate for two weeks.

To date, Nova Scotia has 10,218 negative test results and 293 positive COVID-19 test results.

There are 22 COVID-19 assessment centres in Nova Scotia, 21 of which are operated by the Nova Scotia Health Authority. One is operated by the IWK Health Centre.

A temporary primary assessment centre is now operating in Elmsdale, N.S., and two mobile assessment centres are being established by the Nova Scotia Health Authority, to allow for community-based testing.

Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms, such as a fever, new cough or acute respiratory illness, is urged to limit their contact with others and take an online assessment questionnaire to determine if they should call 811.

The province says anyone referred to an assessment centre by 811 will be tested for COVID-19.