Nova Scotia is reporting 96 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, the highest number of new cases in a day since the pandemic began, as the active number of cases in the province increases to 419.
According to a tweet from Nova Scotia Health & Wellness, 90 of the new cases are in the province's Central zone.
One of the cases in Central Zone is a staff member at Clarmar Residential Care Facility, a residential care home in Dartmouth. All residents have been fully vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Three of Tuesday's new cases are in the Eastern zone, including one case identified Monday, at Sydney Academy in Sydney.
There were also two new cases reported in the Western zone, and one new case in the Northern zone.
"These variants are no joke!" wrote Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin in a tweet. "They are here and want to stay. They love people gathering and breaking public health protocols. The way we stop these variants is by continuing to follow protocols -washing your hands, wearing a mask, and staying home!"
N.S. TO RECEIVE HELP FROM CANADIAN ARMED FORCES: TRUDEAU
Nova Scotia will soon be receiving help from the Canadian Armed Forces, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday.
In a live COVID-19 news presser on Tuesday, Trudeau said the federal government is sending 60 Canadian Armed Forces members to testing centres in Nova Scotia to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
"Across Nova Scotia, and especially in the Halifax region, numbers have risen quickly and the province requested help so... we're sending support," said Trudeau.
Nova Scotia Health has three types of testing centres. To help determine which one is best, they've provided the following information, which can be found on their website.
As for how often you should get tested, infectious disease expert Dr. Lisa Barrett says: "In most places in Nova Scotia where there are lots of cases, it’s very safe for you to get tested once a week. That’s twice during the time when the virus could be incubating."
Those who do want to get tested are asked to do so at the proper location.
For example, the Mayflower Curling Club is for booked, asymptomatic testing, which is different than a drop-in testing site.
Nobody gets turned away so that creates delays.
"We are trying to accommodate everybody the best we can," said Lynn Molloy, a Halifax primary assessment clinic manager. "We’re asking people to be patient but we’re also asking people to book an appointment online."
As the cases of COVID-19 and the number of exposure sites increase, the more volunteers become affected and need to isolate. So the call for new volunteers doesn’t go away.
"We’ve had a few staff who have been exposure sites recently and are at home just waiting for their test results," Molloy said.
Last week public health had a list of more than 600 volunteers to help at it’s testing sites but after a call went out for more, including to businesses, there are now more than a 1,000 names in the pool of volunteers.
N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA
There are now 419 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. According to the provincial dashboard, that marks the highest number of active cases in the province since the pandemic began, breaking the previous high of 361 active cases reported on April 18, 2020.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 9,962 tests on Monday. A total of 524,220 tests have been completed since the beginning of the pandemic.
There have now been 2,215 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 1,729 have recovered and 67 people have died due to the novel coronavirus.
There are currently 11 people in hospital due to COVID-19, with three in intensive care units.
As announced Saturday, the province is no longer including “exposure category” (travel, close contact, etc.), citing increased investigations.
The province says 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.
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: 140 cases (14 active cases)
Central Zone: 1,780 cases (356 active cases)
Northern Zone: 149 cases (13 active cases)
Eastern Zone: 146 cases (36 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to May 2, 2021.
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of April 26, 283,591 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. According to the province, 25.6 per cent of the eligible population have received vaccines as of Tuesday, with 3.6 per cent having received a second dose.
As of last update on Tuesday, the province has received a total of 345,940 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15, 2020.
VACCINATION ROLLOUT EXPANDED FOR PEOPLE AGED 55 TO 59
Nova Scotia Public Health announced Monday that effective immediately, people 55 and older can book appointments for the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at clinics across the province.
"This is a large group and we're hoping with all three vaccines being offered that we'll be able to get more and more shots into arms and ... as we continue our vaccine rollout and limit our movement and gatherings, the less likely COVID-19 will stick around," Rankin said.
Public health said all community clinics and many participating pharmacies have available appointments for this age group. AstraZeneca vaccine appointments are also still open for people who are 55 to 64 years old.
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.
Pop up testing for people 16+ with no symptoms or exposures continues Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the following sites:
East Dartmouth Community Centre, 50 Caledonia Rd.
Halifax Convention Centre, 1650 Argyle St.
Alderney Gate Public Library, 60 Alderney Dr.
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:
Shortness of breath
Runny nose/nasal congestion
This is a developing story, more to come.