Nova Scotia reports two new cases of COVID-19; community vaccine clinics to begin next week
HALIFAX -- Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting two new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, as the number of active cases in the province has increased to 15.
One of Friday's new cases was identified in the province's Central zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case.
The other case was identified in the province's Eastern zone and is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.
"Since our last update we have seen case numbers slightly creep up, including cases with unknown sources in both Beaver Bank and New Minas. Both cases are still under investigation and we are ramping up testing in those communities," said Dr. Robert Strang, N.S. Chief Medical Officer of Health at Friday's news update.
Friday's news update marked the 100th and final briefing for Premier Stephen McNeil, as Iain Rankin will be sworn in as premier on Tuesday.
"I'm grateful for Nova Scotians who have followed the public health protocols and I'm grateful for the kindness that they have shown me over the last 11 months," said McNeil on Friday. "We take for granted sometimes this beautiful province we live in. We have beautiful scenery, we have magnificent views, but we don't often look back and say 'you know what, the people are pretty great too'. You've demonstrated that over the past 11 months, and my family and I are deeply grateful."
N.S. CASE DATA
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,700 tests on Thursday. The province has completed 310,562 tests since the pandemic began.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,604 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 1,524 cases are now considered recovered, and there have been 65 deaths, leaving 15 active cases.
There is one person in hospital because of COVID-19 and they 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: 97 cases (3 active case)
- Central Zone: 1,298 cases (9 active cases)
- Northern Zone: 128 cases (1 active case)
- Eastern Zone: 81 cases (2 active case)
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to March 7, 2021.
RAPID TESTING IN BEAVER BANK
Nova Scotia's mobile testing units will be in Beaver Bank this weekend after a positive case was connected to an elementary school in the community.
On Wednesday evening, Nova Scotia Public Health reported one additional case of COVID-19 connected to Beaver Bank-Monarch Drive Elementary in Central Zone.
"The person has not been in school since Feb. 12 and is self-isolating. The school will remain closed to students until Tuesday, Feb. 23," the province said in a news release. "A deep cleaning will take place and students will learn from home during the closure. Families will receive an update Monday regarding Tuesday's return to school."
Everyone who is a close contact will be notified, tested and asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
The public health mobile units will be at the Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre, 1583 Beaver Bank Rd. in Halifax Regional Municipality to work closely with the families and staff of the Beaver Bank-Monarch Drive Elementary School after a case connected to the school was reported this week.
Testing will be available from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Anyone can drop in or book an appointment online.
COMMUNITY VACCINE CLINICS TO OPEN
Public Health says the province's vaccine rollout will expand beginning next week, with the opening of 10 community-based clinics for Nova Scotians age 80 and over.
The first prototype community vaccine clinic will open at the IWK Health Centre on Monday, Feb. 22.
Clinics will open in the following communities on these dates:
- March 8: Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro
- March 15: Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth
- March 22: Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth
"I am pleased to see more progress in our vaccine rollout," said McNeil. "It is important for our most vulnerable and those most at risk to be vaccinated as quickly as possible. I thank Nova Scotians for their patience and attention to public health and safety measures while waiting for the vaccine to become more widely available."
The province says there are approximately 48,000 Nova Scotians who are age 80 and older.
"The success of our health-care and long-term care clinics, and what we learn from the prototype clinic at the IWK, will prepare us to rollout COVID-19 vaccine to more Nova Scotians," said Strang. "I ask Nova Scotians for their patience as those who are at greatest risk receive their vaccine first. We will all have our chance to be immunized."
Also next week, Millbrook First Nation will be the first of 13 Mi'kmaw communities to host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Details for the clinic at the Millbrook First Nation Health Centre are being finalized and individuals will be contacted to schedule an appointment.
"We are pleased to see vaccine clinics begin in the Mi'kmaw communities in Nova Scotia," said Chief Bob Gloade, Millbrook First Nation. "The Mi'kmaq are uniquely exposed to the risks of COVID-19 and given the risks to older individuals in particular, it is especially important that we protect Elders who maintain our history, oral traditions and language. We are encouraging individuals to become immunized to protect the health and wellness of our Elders and our communities."
The clinics in Mi'kmaw communities will administer vaccine to those living in the community.
For the following locations, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 you are required to self-isolate while you wait for your test result. If you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 you do not need to self-isolate while you wait for your test result.
- Carl’s Your Independent Grocer (396 Main St, Wolfville)
- Feb. 11 between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
- May develop symptoms up to, and including, Feb. 25.
Public Health has released an updated time for exposure at Burger King in New Minas on Feb. 10.
- *UPDATED* Burger King (9148 Commercial St, New Minas)
- Feb. 10 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- May develop symptoms up to, and including, Feb. 24.
Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard now provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.
As of Thursday, 25,032 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far, with 9,782 people in Nova Scotia having received a second dose.
Of the vaccines administered 18,702 went to health care workers, and 2,764 were long-term care residents.
"This week we expect to receive 10,530 doses of Pfizer vaccine, half of which will be reserved for second doses," Strang said. "This will be our biggest single shipment of vaccine to date, it will, it will be delivered to seven cold storage sites across the province, and this number of doses does take into account but we will now be drawing six rather than five doses per vial of the Pfizer vaccine."
Strang also provided some details on clinics to vaccinate health-care workers at clinics in Halifax, Kentville, and Cape Breton and at long-term care homes.
"The final three health-care worker clinics will be set up and ready to receive product later this week in Antigonish, along the South Shore, and in Cumberland," Strang said. "Vaccine was delivered to eight long-term care facilities last week and two more will receive vaccine this week. In long-term care, we have clinics running in multiple locations this week. Booking opened up this morning for the prototype immunization clinic at the IWK for Nova Scotians who are 18, years of age or older."
NOVA SCOTIANS ENCOURAGED TO SEEK ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING
Public health is strongly encouraging Nova Scotians to seek asymptomatic COVID-19 testing, particularly if they have attended 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