Nova Scotia reports single-day record 182 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday; active cases increase to 1,309
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting a single-day record 182 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, as the number of active cases in the province rises to 1,309.
In a release, N.S. health officials say 155 of Thursday's new cases are located in the province's Central zone.
Two of the cases in Central Zone involve a staff member and resident of the Clarmar Residential Care Facility, a residential care home in Dartmouth. This is the third staff member and third resident at the facility to test positive.
Sixteen new cases were identified in the Eastern zone, four new cases are being reported in the Western zone, and seven new cases in the Northern zone.
The province is no longer including an "exposure category" (travel, close contact, etc.), citing increased investigations.
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 third wave is driven by variants and they spread faster and easier," said Premier Iain Rankin in a release. "We are at a crucial point in the pandemic. Please stay close to home, don't gather, and make getting tested for COVID-19 part of your regular routine."
Seventy-six of Nova Scotia’s previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active infections increasing to 1,309.
"We continue to see high case numbers but regardless of the numbers, COVID-19 is here and it's widespread in the Halifax area," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health in a release. "The restrictions in place are critical and we all need to follow them if we're going to get this outbreak under control. They are difficult, but absolutely necessary."
CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES AT CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
The Nova Scotia Department of Justice has confirmed two positive cases of COVID-19 in individuals at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth, N.S.
In an email on Thursday, Heather Fairbairn, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, says one of the cases involves an individual who works at the facility, while the second case involves a recent admission.
“As part of the admissions process, every individual remanded or sentenced into our custody is tested and stays in isolation until approved by NSHA staff to be moved into another area of the facility,” wrote Fairbairn.
Fairbairn says Public Health is involved and the facility has strong protocols in place.
N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA
Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 7,733 COVID-19 tests on Wednesday. Officials have completed a total of 653,564 tests since the pandemic began.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 3,182 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 1,986 cases have recovered and 69 people have died due to COVID-19.
There are currently 45 people in hospital due to COVID-19, nine of whom are in intensive care.
Since April 1, there have been 1,622 positive COVID-19 cases and three deaths. Of the cases since April 1, 310 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: 168 cases (36 active cases)
- Central Zone: 2,786 cases (1,145 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 173 cases (28 active cases)
- Eastern Zone: 237 cases (100 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to May 16, 2021.
CHANGES TO ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING STRATEGY
In order to address the test result backlog, Nova Scotia is shifting their COVID-19 asymptomatic testing strategy.
In the interim, most Nova Scotians are encouraged to use pop-up testing sites instead of booking a COVID-19 lab test over the next few days.
Individuals under the following categories are still encouraged to book lab tests:
- anyone with symptoms
- anyone who has been notified that they are a close contact of a known case
- anyone who has been at an exposure location
- anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador
Public health says anyone who does not meet the above criteria and has already booked an appointment should cancel it following the instructions provided in their confirmation email.
The province said last Friday that it would make an effort to increase rapid testing capacity around the province.
Pop up testing locations being provided on Thursday, include:
- Centre 200 (481 George St, Sydney) - from 3 to 7 p.m.
- John Martin School (7 Brule St. Dartmouth) - from noon to 7 p.m.
- St. Andrews Community Centre (3380 Barnstead Lane, Halifax) - from noon to 7 p.m.
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Wednesday, 347,283 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. According to the province, 29.7 per cent of the population have received vaccines as of Thursday, with 3.8 per cent having received a second dose.
As Tuesday, Nova Scotia has received a total of 388,450 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.
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