HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, as well as six recoveries, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 59.

All five of Thursday's new cases were identified in the province's Central zone. Two cases are related to travel, two are close contacts and one is under investigation.

In a release, public health confirms one of the cases is connected to Joseph Howe Elementary in Halifax. Officials say the case was reported Wednesday, but appears on Thursday’s numbers because it came in after Wednesday’s reporting deadline.

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.

THREE MORE CASES CONNECTED TO HALIFAX SCHOOLS

On Thursday afternoon, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development announced there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 connected to St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay Elementary in Halifax.

"The school will be closed to allow for testing of close contacts and a deep cleaning of the building. Families and staff will receive information from the school about next week's schedule," the department said in a news release. "Public health will be in touch with any close contacts of positive cases and advise of next steps, including testing. Everyone who is a close contact will be notified, tested and asked to self-isolate for 14 days."

On Thursday evening the Department announced there were two cases at connected to Joseph Howe Elementary in Halifax.

"Due to a previously identified case, the school is closed to students until Monday to allow for testing of close contacts," the department said in a news release. "The school received a deep cleaning (Thursday) and will be open to staff (Friday) to support students with at-home learning."

Families and students will receive an update before Monday.

CASE DATA

Nova Scotia labs processed 3,868 tests on Wednesday, and have now processed a total of 921,604 since the start of the pandemic.

There have been 5,798 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 5,647 people have recovered, and 92 have died due to COVID-19.

According to the province's online dashboard, there are currently three individuals in hospital, including one person in an intensive care unit.

Since April 1, there have been 4,056 positive COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths. Of the new cases since April 1, 3,971 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: 287 cases (four active cases)
  • Central zone: 4,612 cases (41 active cases)
  • Northern zone: 298 cases (four active case)
  • Eastern zone: 601 cases (10 active cases)

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to June 27, 2021.

VACCINE UPDATE

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

As of Wednesday, 828,701 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with approximately 71.9 per cent of the province's overall population having received at least one dose. Of those, 129,822 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.

The province says it has received a total of 924,000 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.

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 (60 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth) from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Centennial Arena (27 Vimy Ave., Halifax) from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Halifax Convention Centre (1650 Argyle St., Halifax), from noon to 7 p.m.
  • New Minas Fire Hall (6 Jones Rd., New Minas) from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Sydney Fire Station, 540 Esplanade, Sydney from 2 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
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose/nasal congestion