Nova Scotia reports three new COVID-19 infections; active cases drop to 29
HALIFAX -- Health officials in Nova Scotia reported three new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.
All three cases are in the Central zone. Two are close contacts to previously reported cases, while the other case is under investigation.
“We continue to see new COVID-19 cases every day. So, it’s very apparent the virus is still in our communities,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “Let’s continue to be vigilant. Let’s keep doing what we have been doing so well to keep the virus under control, such as following our public health measures.”
Four of the previously reported cases are now considered resolved, dropping the total number of active cases to 29.
“I’m pleased to see our efforts to contain the virus continue to work and our case numbers are remaining low,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “We need to continue to be cautious and keep each other safe by adhering to the gathering limits, keeping a consistent social group, washing your hands, staying home if you are feeling unwell and self-isolating if required.”
SOME RESTRICTIONS EASING IN HALIFAX AREA
In a news release Thursday afternoon, Nova Scotia announced that some of the tighter restrictions throughout the Halifax Regional Municipality and neighbouring communities announced last week are being lifted on Friday.
On Feb. 26, the province announced new restrictions surrounding restaurant hours, sport competitions, culture performances and non-essential travel. The restrictions were originally scheduled to be in effect until at least March 26, but public health says low case numbers allow them to ease those restrictions three weeks early.
"Last week we were worried about increased case numbers in Halifax but what we are seeing this week warrants lifting some restrictions early," said Premier Iain Rankin.
Effective Friday at 8 a.m., the following activities will be allowed:
- travel in and out of HRM and surrounding municipalities
- participants and officials in performing arts and sports (recreational, amateur and professional) can gather in groups of up to 60 people without social distancing for rehearsals, performances, practices and regular competitive schedule
- spectators at performing arts and sports will be allowed as long as the host facilities have a gathering plan
- the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will reopen public school gyms for after-school use on March 6
- restaurants and bars will return to previous dine-in service requirements, with service stopped by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.
- weddings and funeral in a faith facility or funeral homes can have 150 people outdoors or 50 per cent of capacity to a maximum of 100 indoors. Receptions and visitations continue to be not permitted in HRM and surrounding municipalities
Some of the restrictions still remain in place, including ones surrounding long-term care facilities. Residents in long-term care homes are still only allowed to have visits from their two designated caregivers ad can only leave the facility for medical appointments or for a drive with a designated caregiver. This restriction remains in effect until at least March 27 for HRM up to Porters Lake, as well as the communities of Enfield, Elmsdale, Lantz, Mount Uniacke and Hubbards.
"Thank you to all the Nova Scotians who turned out for testing over the past week," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. "These record numbers helped give us a bigger picture of the virus in HRM and elsewhere in the province. It was critical to this decision."
More details about the easing of restrictions will be given on Friday during the province's live COVID-19 news update.
UPCOMING RAPID TESTING SITES
Nova Scotia lists the locations for their COVID-19 rapid pop-up testing sites on their website.
Rapid testing in Nova Scotia is offered to people who:
- are over 16
- do not have symptoms
- have not travelled out of province
- have not visited a potential exposure location
- have not been in contact with someone who has tested positive
Upcoming rapid testing sites include:
- Thursday, March 4 at the Spryfield Lions Rink and Rec Center (111 Drysdale Rd, Halifax) from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Entrance to gymnasium on left hand side of the building
- Friday, March 5 at the Spryfield Lions Rink and Rec Center (111 Drysdale Rd, Halifax) from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. - Entrance to gymnasium on left hand side of the building
- Friday, March 5 at the Halifax Convention Centre (Argyle St. entrance) from 3:30 to 9:30 p.m.
- Saturday, March 6 at the Halifax Convention Centre (Argyle St. entrance) from 3:30 to 9:30 p.m.
N.S. CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 6,551 tests on Wednesday. Since Saturday, the province has completed a record number of tests, with 27,342 completed in a five-day period. In the five days, 11 positive cases of COVID-19 were identified.
Nova Scotia has completed 356,689 tests since the pandemic began.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 233,511 COVID-19 tests. There have been 560 positive cases, and no deaths.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 1,649 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 1,555 cases have recovered and 65 people have died due to the novel coronavirus.
There are five people in hospital because of COVID-19, two of whom are in the intensive care unit.
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: 99 cases (1 active case)
- Central Zone: 1,333 cases (21 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 131 cases (3 active cases)
- Eastern Zone: 86 cases (4 active cases)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to March 7, 2021.
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard now provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Wednesday, 37,590 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far. Of those, 23,371 were first doses and 14,219 were Nova Scotians receiving their second dose.
Of the vaccines administered 27,596 went to health care workers, and 4,500 were long-term care residents.
The province has received a total of 61,980 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and are holding 8,670 in reserve for second doses and planned clinics.
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.
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