Nova Scotia reports record-high single-day increase in COVID-19 infections with 394 new cases
Nova Scotia is reporting a new record high single-day COVID-19 case increase, with 394 new infections announced Friday.
The previous record for a single-day case increase was on Thursday, when 287 new cases were announced.
Public health says 295 cases are in the province's Central zone, 54 are in the Eastern zone, 27 cases are in the Northern zone, and 18 are in the Western zone.
The province did not provide a number for the current total active case count, nor did they provide an update on recoveries on Friday.
Seven people are currently in hospital with the virus in Nova Scotia, including two in intensive care.
Due to an increase in testing and positive cases, public health says they are experiencing some delays in follow-up and will try to contact anyone confirmed positive by the lab within 24 hours.
The province says all close contacts, including individuals who are fully vaccinated, now need to isolate for 72 hours after the exposure and get a lab-based PCR test. Those who are fully vaccinated can stop isolating after receiving a negative lab test. Those not fully vaccinated must continue to isolate, following the instructions for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated, found online.
On Thursday, 16 schools in the province were notified of an exposure at their school.
A full list of school exposures is available online.
There have been 256 cases of COVID-19 with an episode date between Dec. 9 and Dec. 16.
- 172 (67.2 per cent) were fully vaccinated
- 6 (2.3 per cent) were partially vaccinated
- 78 (30.5 per cent) were unvaccinated
There have been 7,381 cases from March 15 to Dec. 16. Of those:
- 1,137 (15.4 per cent) were fully vaccinated
- 427 (5.8 per cent) were partially vaccinated
- 5,817 (78.8 per cent) were unvaccinated
There were 341 people hospitalized. Of those:
- 23 (6.7 per cent) were fully vaccinated
- 33 (9.7 per cent) were partially vaccinated
- 285 (83.6 per cent) were unvaccinated
Forty-four people died. Of those:
- 11 (25.0 per cent) were fully vaccinated
- 3 (6.8 per cent) were partially vaccinated
- 30 (68.2 per cent) were unvaccinated
CHARGES LAID AGAINST ST. FX
During a live COVID-19 news conference on Friday, Premier Tim Houston said two summary offence tickets were issued to St. Francis Xavier University and the university's student union in the amount of $11,622.50 – the maximum penalty that can be handed out.
The premier says the tickets were issued for failing to comply to the province's top doctor's COVID-19 orders.
"The offences stem from the failure to comply, specifically with masking requirements," said Houston.
St.FX has been at the centre of an outbreak following the school’s X-ring ceremony on Dec. 3.
The outbreak at the university was declared by public health on Dec. 8.
Between Dec. 10 and Dec. 16, public health administered 63,399 rapid tests.
Health officials say this includes 5,618 rapid tests at the pop-up sites in Halifax and surrounding communities and 57,781 through the workplace screening program.
"Another 66,992 home rapid tests were distributed at the pop-up sites, 400,000 were distributed at libraries, and 167,000 were distributed to children in public school in grades pre-primary to six. An additional 60,000 tests were distributed to community partners for children aged 3 to 11 who are not in public school," read a release from public health.
On Thursday, Nova Scotia Health Authority's labs completed 7,585 tests.
As of Friday, 1,718,187 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.
Of those, 792,129 Nova Scotians have received their second dose, and 73,668 eligible Nova Scotians have received a third dose.
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
The province also announced a support program for Nova Scotia businesses impacted by the provincewide public health restrictions.
The Sector Impact Support Program will provide a one-time grant up to $7,500 to help small business owners in industries such as restaurants, bars, gyms, live performing arts facilities and recreation facilities.
"With the rise in positive cases and the threat of the Omicron variant, we know these public health restrictions are necessary to help keep Nova Scotians safe," said Premier Tim Houston. "But we also know these restrictions will have a significant impact on many businesses during what would typically be a busy time of year. That's why we need to support our business sector and position ourselves for recovery as quickly as possible."
The program will be funded through the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Response Council, and is expected to cost approximately $10 million, depending on participation.
Applications will open in early January.
Eligible businesses can receive the following amounts based on November 2021 gross payroll costs:
- payroll costs between $1,000 and $15,000 - grant of $2,500
- payroll costs between $15,001 and $25,000 - grant of $5,000
- payroll costs between $25,001 or more - grant of $7,500.
All details of the new program can be found on the province's website.
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