Nova Scotia reports six new COVID-19 cases; active cases drop to 59
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia reported six new COVID-19 cases on Sunday. Eight previously reported cases are now considered recovered, dropping the number of active cases in the province to 59.
Three of the cases are located in the Central Zone; all three are close contacts of previously reported cases.
Two of the cases are located in the Eastern Zone. One case is a close contact of a previously reported case. The other case is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada and is self-isolating as required.
One of the cases is located in the Western Zone and is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. The person is self-isolating as required.
Alongside the announcement of new cases, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil offered encouraging words to Nova Scotians.
“It is encouraging to see the efforts of Nova Scotians to contain the virus seem to be working,” said McNeil in a press release on Sunday. “Let’s keep up that good work by continuing to follow all the public health guidelines to protect each other – isolate when required, wear a mask, limit social contacts and travel, practice social distancing, stay home when feeling unwell and wash your hands.”
Meanwhile, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, said residents shouldn’t let up on their efforts because of lower new case numbers.
“Single-digit case numbers are a positive sign, but we cannot relax yet,” said Strang in the Sunday press release. “COVID-19 is still in our communities, so we must stay diligent and continue to follow public health guidelines and orders – they are what will keep our citizens safe.”
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,427 COVID-19 tests on Saturday.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 86,598 tests. There have been 326 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and no deaths.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,415 cumulative confirmed cases, and 65 deaths.
There is no one in hospital due to COVID-19.
The province's confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.
Fifty-seven per cent of cases are female, and 43 per cent are male.
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: 75 cases
- Central Zone: 1,187 cases
- Northern Zone: 89 cases
- Eastern Zone: 64 cases
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to Dec. 27.
NEW FLIGHT EXPOSURES
On Sunday, Nova Scotia Health released details concerning potential COVID-19 exposures on two WestJet flights earlier in December.
Anyone who was on the following flights in the specified rows/seats is to self-isolate for the 14-days required, and closely monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
- WestJet flight 228 on Dec. 3
- From Calgary to Halifax, arriving at 7:06 a.m. on Dec. 4
- Passengers in rows 6-12 in seats D, E and F are asked to continue to self isolate and monitor for symptoms
- Symptoms may develop up to, and including Dec. 18
- WestJet flight 254 on Dec. 8
- From Toronto to Halifax, arriving at 12:48 a.m. on Dec. 9
- Passengers in row 8-14 in seats A, B, C are asked to continue to self isolate and monitor for symptoms
- Symptoms may develop up to, and including Dec. 23
On Sunday, two rapid testing pop-up sites were set up in the province.
One site was at a YCMA location on Gottingen Street in Halifax, which saw a fair amount of people receiving tests.
"I work in a school, so I'm around a lot of people, and it just seems like the right thing to do," said Denise Friars, who showed up to get her test. "The more testing, the better, so we have accurate numbers."
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Lisa Barrett was present at the testing site. She notes it's important to keep testing more people, even if they're asymptomatic.
"We recognize that testing is really important, even in people without symptoms," said Barrett. "Fifty per cent of the time when people have COVID, they don't have symptoms when they can spread to someone else."
Those who got tested on Sunday said the process was easy.
"They make you feel very comfortable," said Clayton Beaver. "They explain the whole process to you, and away you go – it takes five minutes."
With the holidays fast approaching, Barrett says it's important for people to get out and get tested.
"The most common thing that people who have tested positive at this clinic say to me, 'I have no reason to have COVID and I can't imagine where I got it, I feel great,'" said Barrett. "So, what I'm hoping, is we have lots of people come out over the next couple of weeks, particularly around Christmas. This is your gift to Nova Scotia for the COVID response, so come out and get a test."
ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING EXTENDED
On Sunday, the province issued a release announcing asymptomatic testing has been extended around Nova Scotia until Friday.
Asymptomatic testing is available for people who:
- Do not have symptoms
- Have not travelled outside the Atlantic provinces within the past 14 days
- Have not visited a potential exposure location
- Have not been in contact with someone who has tested positive
- People who have a lot of close social interaction are especially encouraged to get tested.
In Central Zone, people can continue to go to the Zatzman Sportsplex in Dartmouth for an asymptomatic test without an appointment.
In all other zones, appointments are required and can be booked at the province's self-assessment website by choosing the asymptomatic option. Appointments can be booked until Friday.
Additionally, pop-up sites will continue in different locations around the province. However, because they use rapid tests, the age limit is 16 and over at these sites.
People getting tested through this process are not required to self-isolate while waiting for their test or results. People getting tested for other reasons can find their self-isolation requirements online.
MORE TESTING MATTERS
In Berwick, N.S., public health has stepped up testing in the area in response to six COVID-19 cases at the Eden Valley Poultry plant. A walk-in testing site has been set up at the local fire hall, with testing running until Monday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In Middleton, N.S., walk-in testing will also be available at a mobile testing site will be set up outside the local fire hall on Monday and Tuesday.
Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., is also offering testing by appointment.
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