Two new cases of COVID-19 reported in N.S.; 21 active cases remain
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia health officials reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, with 21 active cases remaining in the province.
According to public health, both cases are in the Central Zone and are linked to previously reported cases, including cases linked to the Clayton Park cluster.
Public health says the cases are still under investigation.
“As there is an upsurge in cases, I am increasingly concerned that people are living as if we are not in the midst of a pandemic,” said Premier Stephen McNeil.
Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Lisa Barrett says, although cases in the region have remained on the lower end, things can change very quickly, just as it did for Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
“I think now is the time, without being told, to just reduce the amount of outings that we’re doing. I know that’s not what anyone wants to hear but if we do it now for a couple of weeks, we may save ourselves a full on lockdown later,” said Barrett.
On Saturday, the province reported six new cases of COVID-19 also all in the Central Zone, the largest one-day increase in cases the province has seen since May.
According to health officials, all six cases are contacts of previously reported cases.
One of the new cases is related to the Bitter End in Halifax, a restaurant that appears to be linked to the Clayton Park cluster reported earlier this week.
The province said the other cases are part of an emerging cluster that is being investigated by public health.
“As we've seen in other provinces, COVID-19 cases can increase in no time,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia.
“We must not let our guard down in Nova Scotia. Please continue to adhere to protocols and limit the number of your close social contacts and social activities. "
CALLS FOR STRICTER PENALTIES, MANDATORY CONTACT TRACING
The group representing restaurants in Nova Scotia is urging the province to make contact tracing mandatory, and enforce stricter penalties for those disobeying the rules.
“People that break the protocol and go out, knowing they’re infected,” said Gordon Stewart, with the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia.
“Not unknowingly, but knowing they’re still infected. There should be stiff penalties for those people because that’s the weakest link in the chain right there.”
Premier Stephen MacNeil shared the frustration on Sunday, urging everyone to follow public health protocols.
“I know most people in Nova Scotia follow public health guidelines to protect each other," said MacNeil.
"However, people who do not respect them put not only their health, but also that of others. We all have a responsibility to behave responsibly in order to stop the spread of the virus. "
POTENTIAL COVID-19 EXPOSURES
Nova Scotia has reported 10 possible COVID-19 exposures throughout HRM in just two days.
Health officials are asking anyone who visited The Local Bar and Restaurant on Nov. 9 between 4 p.m. and close to contact 811 and arrange for a COVID-19 test, whether you have symptoms of the virus or not.
The updated information came in a news release from public health Saturday evening.
“Our investigation continues into several cases within the Central Zone, primarily in the Halifax area currently. At times, we gather information throughout our investigation that means we have to issue new information and advice,” said Dr. Claudia Sarbu, the province’s regional medical officer of health, in a news release Saturday evening.
“These steps are taken to help us contain and manage the spread of COVID-19 and protest the health of Nova Scotians.”
Originally, officials said on Friday anyone who was at the restaurant should self-monitor for symptoms up to, and including, Nov. 23.
The Local Bar and Restaurant is located in downtown Halifax at 2037 Gottingen Street.
Nine other potential COVID-19 exposures were also identified over Friday and Saturday during the following dates and times:
- The Economy Shoe Shop Bar and Restaurant on Nov. 8, between 8:30 and 11 p.m.
- John W. Lindsay YMCA on Sackville Street on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., but only in the gym section of that facility.
- Tim Hortons on Verdi Drive, (Bedford Commons) on Nov. 12 from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.
- Real Fake Meats in Halifax located at 2278 Gottingen St. on Oct. 31 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Antojo Tacos and Tequila in Halifax located at 1667 Argyle St. on Oct. 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- MEC in Halifax located at 1550 Granville St. on Nov. 4 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Aerobics First in Halifax located at 6166 Quinpool Rd. on Nov. 7 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Pet Valu in Halifax located at 5686 Spring Garden Rd. on Nov. 9 from 5:30 pm to 6:30pm.
- East Preston Recreation Centre – Gym/Basketball Court in East Preston, N.S., located at 24 Brooks Drive, on Nov. 9 from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Nova Scotia health says anyone that was at any of these nine locations on the dates and times listed above should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days, following the day of exposure.
Should any COVID-19 symptoms develop, they are directed to self-isolate and take the online self-assessment or call 811 to get tested.
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
The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 714 Nova Scotia tests on Saturday.
To date, Nova Scotia has had 121,974 negative test results and 1,144 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 1,058 cases are now considered resolved and 65 people have died as a result of the novel coronavirus.
There is no one in hospital due to COVID-19.
The province's confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.
Sixty per cent of cases are female and 40 per cent are male.
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: 58 cases
- Central Zone: 954 cases
- Northern Zone: 77 cases
- Eastern Zone: 55 cases
ONLINE BOOKING FOR COVID TESTS
Nova Scotia’s online booking for COVID-19 tests is now available for everyone across the province.
Nova Scotians must first complete the online self-assessment to determine if they need a COVID-19 test. If they do require a test, they will be directed to the online booking site to make an appointment.
Tests should be scheduled within 48 hours of completing the self-assessment.
COVID ALERT APP
Earlier in October, Nova Scotia Health announced that Canada’s COVID-19 Alert app is now available in the province.
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.
STATE OF EMERGENCY RENEWED
The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to Nov. 29, unless the government terminates or extends it before then.
SELF-ISOLATION AND MANDATORY MASKS
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.
Anyone who travels to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic region for non-essential reasons is required to self-isolate for 14 days and must fill out a self-declaration form before coming to the province. Travellers must self-isolate alone, away from others. If they cannot self-isolate alone, their entire household must also self-isolate for 14 days.
Residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are not required to self-isolate when travelling to Nova Scotia, but they must be prepared to provide proof of their place of residency at provincial borders.
Visitors from outside the Atlantic region who have already self-isolated in another Atlantic province for 14 days may travel to Nova Scotia without having to self-isolate again.