Nova Scotia is reporting 66 new COVID-19 cases Monday: the highest number of new cases in a day since the pandemic began.
According to a tweet from Nova Scotia Health & Wellness, 58 of the new cases are in the province's Central zone.
Five of Monday's new cases are in the Eastern zone, along with two cases reported in the Western zone, and one new case in the Northern zone.
Six previously reported cases are now considered recovered, as the active number of cases in the province increases to 323.
Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin also reported that a person in their 20s is in an intensive-care unit in Halifax because of COVID-19.
"This is a wake up call to our younger population," Rankin said during a news conference on Monday afternoon. "You are not invincible and you need to take this virus and the variants seriously."
Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, called on Nova Scotians to follow public health guidelines to get through this third wave of the pandemic.
"Now is the time we need each of us to be at our best," Strang said. "So, over the next four weeks. I'm asking you to roar back at this virus by hunkering down, stay close to home as much as possible. Reduce your contact with other people, get tested, especially if you're feeling unwell or have been at exposure site or been directed by public health and get your vaccine when it's your turn."
N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA
There are now 323 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. That marks the highest number of active cases in the province since April 29, 2020.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed a single-day record 11,335 tests on Sunday. A total of 514,257 tests have been completed since the beginning of the pandemic.
There have now been 2,119 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 five people in hospital due to COVID-19, with two 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: 138 cases (12 active cases)
Central Zone: 1,690 cases (266 active cases)
Northern Zone: 148 cases (12 active cases)
Eastern Zone: 143 cases (33 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to May 2, 2021.
VACCINATION ROLLOUT EXPANDED FOR PEOPLE AGED 55 TO 59
Nova Scotia Public Health announced Monday that effective immediately, people 55 and older can book appoinments 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 Monday 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