HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting one new COVID-19 related death on Friday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 29.

The death occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax. Of the province’s 29 COVID-19 deaths, 23 have been at Northwood, which is the largest long-term care home east of Montreal.

"The thoughts and best wishes of all Nova Scotians are with everyone at Northwood. To the family and loved ones of this individual, please accept our deepest condolences," said Premier Stephen McNeil. "Many people, representing many organizations, are working hard to help Northwood address this virus. This support will continue as long as it is needed."

The province also reported 12 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the province to 959.

This is the second consecutive day the province has reported 12 new cases.

As of Thursday, 10 licensed long-term care homes and seniors’ facilities in Nova Scotia had confirmed cases of COVID-19, involving 237 residents and 105 staff members.

Most of those cases are at Northwood’s Halifax facility. On Friday, Northwood reported three more cases in their Halifax facility, as two residents and one staff member have tested positive.

That brings the total number of cases at Northwood to 299, 218 residents and 81 staff. A total of 16 residents and 18 employees have recovered.

The province says 592 people have recovered from the virus and their cases are considered resolved.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 812 tests on Thursday and is operating 24 hours a day.

To date, Nova Scotia has 28,883 negative test results.

“The fact that our testing volume was up again yesterday and we have a relatively low number of positive cases, the majority associated with the Northwood outbreak, is a further indication to me that we’re beginning to see a slowing down of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, which is very good news,” said Strang during Friday’s news conference.

Ten people are currently in hospital. Three of those patients are in intensive care units.

The confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.

Province eases restrictions

On Friday afternoon, the province announced that some public health restrictions around COVID-19 will be lifted immediately, including reopening of parks and trails, and allowing fishing and gardening.

"We know that getting outdoors for recreation is important for people's physical and mental health," said Premier Stephen McNeil. "That's why we are easing some restrictions, while still keeping the majority of our public health directives in place to continue fighting the virus. But I need to be clear: if we see an increase in positive cases or people not continuing to adhere to all the public health measures, the restrictions will return."

State of Emergency extended

Nova Scotia is extending the provincial state of emergency until at least Sunday, May 17.

In a news release issued Friday, the province announced they are extending the provincial state of emergency that was originally declared on March 22.