HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting two new COVID-19 related deaths as well as two new cases Tuesday, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 74.

According to a release from the province, the latest deaths involve a man in his 60s in the Central zone, and a man in his 50s in the Western zone. There have now been 92 COVID-19 related deaths in the province since the pandemic began.

One of Tuesday's new cases is in the Central Zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case. The other case is in the Western Zone and is related to travel.

Public Health says there is now “limited community spread” in the Central zone. The Eastern, Northern and Western zones continue to be closely monitored for community spread.

The province says five previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases dropping to 74 - the lowest number of active cases reported in the province since April 20.

CASE DATA

On Monday, Nova Scotia labs processed 3,323 tests, and have now processed a total of 914,139 since the start of the pandemic.

There have been 5,793 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 5,627 people have recovered, and 92 have died due to COVID-19.

According to the province's online dashboard, there are currently two individuals in hospital, with no one in an intensive care unit.

Since April 1, there have been 4,051 positive COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths. Of the new cases since April 1, 3,951 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: 287 cases (four active cases)
  • Central zone: 4,607 cases (51 active cases)
  • Northern zone: 298 cases (four active case)
  • Eastern zone: 601 cases (15 active cases)

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to June 27, 2021.

PROVINCE RAMPS UP VACCINE ROLL OUT

Nova Scotia is ramping up the province’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout with the goal of all residents being fully vaccinated by the end of August.

"Moving up our vaccination rollout by more than a month is no small feat. We are expanding where we can, as quickly as we can," said Premier Iain Rankin in a news release. "It is only because of the countless hours that hundreds of people across our health-care system have, and will, put in that we can fully protect more Nova Scotians sooner."

In a release issued Tuesday, Nova Scotia says they are extending clinic hours and opening more clinics throughout the province, including:

  • Converting two primary assessment centres into community vaccination clinics in Halifax (Bayers Lake) and New Glasgow.
  • Opening a temporary community vaccination clinic in Berwick.
  • Reopening the health-care worker vaccination clinic at St. Martha's Regional Hospital in Antigonish for scheduled appointments for the general public.
  • Organizing an additional vaccine clinic for newcomers, scheduled to take place at the Newcomer Health Clinic in Halifax on June 26 and 27 for clinic patients.

The province has also partnered with the Halifax Convention Centre, Canadian Armed Forces, Canadian Red Cross and IWK Health Centre to open a community vaccination clinic in Halifax’s Nova Centre. The province says that clinic is scheduled to open later this week to immunize people with scheduled second doses, and will expand in the coming days to offer a walk-in service only to people who need a first dose of vaccine.

"Having high coverage rates with two doses of vaccine is key to safely reopening. Our ability to move up our timeline from end of September to end of August demonstrates that we have a strong vaccine rollout," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health in a news release. "I am proud of the program we have created and the dedication of our immunizers and volunteers on the front-lines and of those who are working behind the scenes."

Strang said the province is getting a large shipment of Moderna vaccine and over the next four weeks will be getting about 400,000 doses -- which is helping the province accelerate its vaccination campaign and will make it possible for a majority of Nova Scotians to have their second dose by the end of August.

The province says all Nova Scotians age 65 and older will have an opportunity to be fully vaccinated by early July.

"This will make Nova Scotia one of the safest places in the world," Strang said. "We have to see vaccination as a marathon; it's not how we start or where we are, but how we finish."

The province's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the number of vaccines that have been administered to date.

Strang reminded people to look for an e-mail reminder for their second dose, and once they receive that, to try and reschedule for an earlier appointment. He says he knows that some people are having trouble re-booking, but that's because new appointment slots are not made available until the vaccine arrives.

"Keep looking," Strang said. "And please be patient when trying to rebook. You will get your turn soon."

As of Tuesday, 790,514 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with approximately 71.4 per cent of the province's overall population having received at least one dose. Of those, 66,248 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.

The province says it has received a total of 924,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.

All Nova Scotians are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they are eligible. COVID-19 vaccination appointments can be made online or by phone at 1-833-797-7772.

BORDER TO REOPEN WEDNESDAY

Nova Scotia’s borders will officially open to Atlantic travel as of 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, although some restrictions will still apply to those travelling from New Brunswick.

The province also announced that as of June 30, travel will begin to open for residents from outside of Atlantic Canada, with the same restrictions based on vaccination status that are being put in place for New Brunswick.

As of 8 a.m. on June 23, travellers from Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador can enter Nova Scotia for any reason and will no longer have to self-isolate or complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form.

However, travellers from New Brunswick will have a modified quarantine period, depending on vaccination status. The province says those rules will also apply to the rest of the country on June 30.

“We are pleased that case numbers and vaccination coverage are allowing us to return to free travel within the Atlantic region,” said Premier Iain Rankin in a news release. “There will be no requirements for people travelling from Prince Edward Island or from Newfoundland and Labrador. Because of New Brunswick’s approach to visitors from the rest of Canada, we need to maintain some protection when people enter Nova Scotia from that province. The rules we’re putting in place for New Brunswick will extend to travelers from outside Atlantic Canada on June 30.”

The province says people travelling from New Brunswick, including returning Nova Scotians, can enter for any reason but will have self-isolation and testing requirements based on their vaccination status.

Those requirements include:

  • people who have had two doses of vaccine at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia must self-isolate until they receive a negative test result in Nova Scotia.
  • people who had one dose of vaccine at least 14 days before arriving in Nova Scotia must self-isolate for at least seven days and cannot leave isolation until they get two negative tests results while in Nova Scotia; tests should be on day one or two and on day five or six.
  • people who have not had any vaccine and those who had a first dose within 14 days of arrival must isolate for 14 days; testing at the beginning and end of their isolation continues to be recommended.

This comes after New Brunswick announced last Wednesday that they were moving to Phase two of their reopening plan, which allows any Canadian travellers from outside the Atlantic region to enter the province without self-isolating, provided they have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. It is the only Atlantic Canadian province to do so.

Find more information here.

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 province's online self-assessment COVID-19 tool, or by calling 811.

People can also visit one of Nova Scotia’s rapid pop-up testing sites that continue to operate throughout the province.

  • Alderney Gate (60 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth) from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Centennial Arena (27 Vimy Ave., Halifax) from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Halifax Central Library (5440 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax, NS), from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Halifax Convention Centre (1650 Argyle St., Halifax), from noon to 7 p.m.
  • New Minas Fire Hall (6 Jones Rd., New Minas) from noon to 7 p.m.

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
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose/nasal congestion