Nova Scotia reports 34 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, active cases rise to 169
Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting 34 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 recoveries on Friday, as the number of active cases in the province rises to 169.
Thirty-two new cases were identified in the province's Central zone. Of those, 12 cases are close contacts of previously reported cases, one is related to travel and 19 are under investigation.
Health officials say there are signs of community spread among people in the Central zone aged 20 to 40 who are unvaccinated and participating in social activities.
One new case was identified in the province's Northern zone, involving a close contact of a previously reported case.
One new case was identified in the province's Western zone, and is under investigation.
Public Health says it is closely monitoring all four health zones for community spread.
OFFICIALS RESPOND TO RISING CASE NUMBERS
With case numbers continuing to rise in Nova Scotia, and neighbouring New Brunswick reinstating a state of emergency, health officials continue to preach caution and vaccines to Nova Scotians.
"We are encouraging people if they are not vaccinated to get vaccinated, it's the best protection that they have,” said N.S. Health Minister Michelle Thompson.
With 169 active cases, the list of potential exposure sites continues to grow. Many of the locations in the Central Zone are restaurants or bars.
"Honestly, I think it's a bit ridiculous for us to be listed as exposure site when we're only sector in all that list that has all these measures in place, such as contact tracing, such as the vaccination passports and they need to focus on other sectors that do not have as many restrictions as the restaurant/ hospitality sector,” said Luc Erjavec with Restaurants Canada.
Dr. Robert Stang said Friday there are no plans to limit the hours bars and restaurants can operate, as the province did during the third wave.
"That's why we're bringing in the proof of vaccine policy. Right now, we're allowing in with Phase four, limits on gatherings, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. Starting October 4, it will only be vaccinated people in things like bars, restaurants, gyms and a number of other discretionary operations,” said Strang.
"We are in a very different circumstance in this wave where it is a wave of the unvaccinated which is why the vaccine passport or policy is very important,” said NS Liberal leader Iain Rankin.
With COVID cases rising across the country, Premier Tim Houston said now is not the time to stop paying attention to Public Health.
"The epidemiology is certainly changing and we need to be mindful and respectful of that,” he said.
Health officials will make a final decision next week about whether masks will stick around when the province enters the fifth phase of its reopening on October 4.
"If we look around the rest of the country where people have relaxed masking and then had to bring it back, I don't think people should be surprised if we continue to use mandatory masking in indoor public places beyond October 4,” said Strang.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Nova Scotia NDP said the government needs to reach out to those who are unvaccinated and identify the obstacles they face.
"Let us reach out to the places where people, identify those people, identify the support that's needed and see that the support's provided,” said Gary Burrill.
COVID-19 CASE DATA
Nova Scotia Health Authority's labs completed 4,241 tests on Thursay. A total of 1,193,575 COVID-19 tests have been processed since the start of the pandemic.
There were 3,577 tests administered between Sept. 17 and Sept. 23 at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Halifax and Dartmouth.
According to the province's online COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 6,486 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 6,222 people have recovered and 95 have died due to COVID-19.
There are currently 14 people in hospital in Nova Scotia due to COVID-19, with one patient in an intensive care unit.
Since August 1, there have been 590 positive COVID-19 cases and one death. Of the new cases since August 1, 420 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: 331 cases (9 active case)
- Central zone: 4,998 cases (129 active cases)
- Northern zone: 500 cases (22 active cases)
- Eastern zone: 657 cases (9 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to Oct. 3, 2021.
Public Health reports 'breakthrough cases' weekly. A breakthrough case involves a person becoming COVID-19 positive two weeks after receiving either one or two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
According to Public Health, there have been 4,767 cases from March 15 to Sept. 23. Of those:
- 133 (2.8 per cent) were fully vaccinated
- 297 (6.2 per cent) were partially vaccinated
- 4,337 (91.0 per cent) were unvaccinated
There were 260 people hospitalized. Of those:
- 6 (2.2 per cent) were fully vaccinated
- 28 (10.3 per cent) were partially vaccinated
- 237 (87.5 per cent) were unvaccinated
Twenty-nine people died. Of those:
- 2 (6.9 per cent) was fully vaccinated
- 3 (10.3 per cent) were partially vaccinated
- 24 (82.8 per cent) were unvaccinated
The province's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the number of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Friday, 1,496,634 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.
In total, 80 per cent of the province's overall population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 74.1 per cent of Nova Scotians have received their second dose
The province says it has received a total of 1,661,340 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.
All Nova Scotians are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they are eligible. COVID-19 vaccination appointments can be made online or by phone at 1-833-797-7772.
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