HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting six new COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday, bringing the total number of fatalities in the province to 37.

The deaths all occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax. Of the province's 37 COVID-19 deaths, 31 have been at Northwood, which is the largest long-term care home east of Montreal.

"Six more families are mourning the loss of a loved one today and my thoughts are with them. I am so very sorry for you loss," said Premier Stephen McNeil on Sunday. "I ask all Nova Scotians to help keep COVID-19 out of our long-term care facilities and our communities by continuing to follow the public health directives to help stop the spread of this virus."

Eight new cases were announced on Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 971 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

As of Saturday, 10 licensed long-term care homes and seniors' facilities in Nova Scotia had confirmed cases of COVID-19, involving 239 residents and 109 staff members.

Most of those cases are at Northwood's Halifax facility. On Saturday, Northwood reported three more cases in their Halifax facility, after two residents and one staff member tested positive. The total number of cases at Northwood remains at 305, which includes 220 residents and 85 staff.

“We continue to work with our partners to protect residents and staff at Northwood,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “We all need to continue working together, washing our hands, social distancing and using our common sense to keep fighting this virus.”

Case Breakdown

The province says 624 people have recovered from the virus and their cases are considered resolved.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 734 tests on Saturday and is operating 24 hours a day.

To date, Nova Scotia has 29,945 negative test results.

Six people are currently in hospital. Three of those patients are in intensive care units.

The confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.

Restrictions eased

On Friday afternoon, the province announced that some public health restrictions around COVID-19 will be lifted immediately, including reopening of parks and trails, and allowing fishing and gardening.

"We know that getting outdoors for recreation is important for people's physical and mental health," said Premier Stephen McNeil on Friday. "That's why we are easing some restrictions, while still keeping the majority of our public health directives in place to continue fighting the virus. But I need to be clear: if we see an increase in positive cases or people not continuing to adhere to all the public health measures, the restrictions will return."

State of Emergency extended

Nova Scotia is extending the provincial state of emergency until at least Sunday, May 17.

In a news release issued Friday, the province announced they are extending the provincial state of emergency that was originally declared on March 22.

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .