HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting two new COVID-19 related deaths on Saturday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 31.

The deaths occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax. Of the province’s 31 COVID-19 deaths, 25 have been at Northwood, which is the largest long-term care home east of Montreal.

“On behalf of all Nova Scotians, I want to offer my condolences to the families of the residents of Northwood who have died due to COVID-19. I am very sorry for your loss,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “I ask Nova Scotians to continue to fight this virus through diligent social distancing, hand washing and common sense. When you are outside this weekend, taking care of your physical and mental health, please keep these things top of mind.”

The province also reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the province to 963.

As of Friday, 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, as two residents and one staff member have tested positive.

That brings the total number of cases at Northwood to 305 220 residents and 85 staff.

“We are working very hard with the Northwood team and the health authority to isolate the virus to protect the residents and staff at Northwood,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “Please continue to follow public health directives and advice. We must all keep working as one to fight COVID-19.”

Case Breakdown

The province says 609 people have recovered from the virus and their cases are considered resolved.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 866 tests on Friday and is operating 24 hours a day.

To date, Nova Scotia has 29,406 negative test results.

Nine 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.