Nova Scotia reports 91 new COVID-19 cases Monday, active cases drop to 1,434
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting 91 new COVID-19 cases Monday, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 1,434.
In a news release from the province, it says 66 of the cases are in the province's Central zone. Seventeen new cases were reported in the Eastern zone, five are in the Northern zone, and three are in the Western zone.
Two of the new cases in the Central zone involve patients in a non-COVID unit at the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre. Health officials say those patients have been transferred to the COVID-19 unit, and all other patients in the non-COVID unit have tested negative and are being closely monitored. As a precaution, Nova Scotia Health Authority is testing staff and doctors who have worked in the unit.
Health officials say there is evidence of community spread in Nova Scotia's Central zone.
Public Health says the province’s other zones– Eastern, Northern, and Western– are being monitored for signs of community spread.
The province says testing has been increased in some areas of concern, particularly in Sydney, Bridgewater and the Annapolis Valley from New Minas to Kentville.
The province says 187 previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases dropping to 1,434.
Nova Scotia Health announced several exposure sites on Monday evening. You can see the full list here.
HOSPITALS BRACE FOR SURGE IN CASES
With the rising number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19, Dr. Brendan Carr, President and CEO of the Nova Scotia Health Authority, said staffing and other resources are being redirected and redeployed to areas of greatest need.
"Unfortunately what this means is some patients may be transferred to another facility if they are admitted to hospital and some surgeries, tests and procedures may be postponed," Carr says.
There are currently 95 individuals in hospital, 29 of which are in the intensive or intermediate care unit.
Carr said the health authority's current protocols would allow up to 245 in patient COVID-19 cases.
Despite a decrease in cases, Carr says the next few weeks will be challenging as the number of people admitted to hospital for COVID-19 is expected to continue to rise.
Carr also said there are 12 patients and four staff members who have tested postive for the virus at the non-COVID-19 unit of Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre. Ten of the patients remain in the COVID-19 unit.
N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 7,536 tests on Sunday, bringing the total number of tests since the pandemic began to 733,465.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 4,827 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 3,320 cases have recovered and 73 people have died due to the novel coronavirus.
According to the province's online dashboard, there are currently 95 individuals in hospital, 21 of which are in the intensive care unit.
Since April 1, there have been 3,085 positive COVID-19 cases and seven deaths. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. Of the new cases since April 1, 1,644 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: 247 cases (75 active cases)
- Central Zone: 3,977 cases (1,173 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 233 cases (57 active case)
- Eastern Zone: 370 cases (129 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to May 30, 2021.
POTENTIAL VACCINE FROM THE U.S.
Premier Iain Rankin and the other Eastern Canadian premiers are exploring the possibility of receiving excess vaccine from the United States as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery.
Premier Rankin and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont co-chaired a meeting of New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers on Monday.
They are sending a joint letter to the governments of Canada and the United States to help facilitate receipt of extra vaccine and their work in reopening the border.
"They have access and obviously we'd like to see more vaccine flowing in, but it is a federal decision point, both here and in their country," says Rankin.
Rankin says Connecticut is at 70 per cent plus for a first vaccine dose, whereas the Atlantic Provinces are hovering around 40 per cent.
N.S. OPENS VACCINES TO 30-34
Nova Scotians in the 30 to 34 age group can now book appointments to receive the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
The province announced Monday that effective immediately, people in that age group can book appointments at community clinics and participating pharmacy and primary care clinics that offer the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
According to the province, there are about 62,000 eligible Nova Scotians in the 30-34 age group.
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang said Monday vaccinations should be open for everyone 12 and over by next week.
N.S. Health says appointments for COVID-19 vaccines in community clinics and participating pharmacies will be released on a continuous basis as vaccine supply is confirmed.
The province is encouraging all Nova Scotians 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. Appointments cannot be booked directly through a community clinic, pharmacy or physician. Walk-ins will be turned away.
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Monday, 430,856 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 39,235 are Nova Scotians who have received their second dose.
As of Tuesday, Nova Scotia has received a total of 466,900 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.
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.
The province says they are making an effort to increase rapid testing capacity around the province.
Pop-up testing locations being provided on Monday include:
- Alderney Gate Public Library, Dartmouth from noon to 7 p.m.
- Central Spryfield Elementary School, 364 Herring Cove Rd from noon to 7 p.m
- Credit Union Centre (1490 Westwood St, Kingston) - from noon to 7 p.m.
- Halifax Central Library from noon to 7 p.m.
- Halifax Convention Centre, Halifax from noon to 7 p.m.
- John Martin School - 7 Brule St. Dartmouth from noon to 7 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
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose/nasal congestion
An earlier version of this story said due to a testing backlog, th province had changed their rules around asymptomatic testing. The rules have now be reverted back to the intial testing strategy.