Health officials in Nova Scotia identified six new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, increasing the total number of active cases in the province to 32.

According to the province’s online dashboard, four previously reported cases are now considered resolved.

Of the new cases, three are in the Northern zone and are close contacts to previously reported cases.

The other three new cases are in the Central zone. One of those cases is a close contact to a previously reported case.

The other two cases in the Central zone are related to travel outside Atlantic Canada – one of which involves a Dalhousie University student who lives off-campus.

All of the cases are self-isolating as required.  

“We are seeing a low number of cases because people are taking our public health protocols and the health of others seriously,” said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. “I want to thank everyone for staying vigilant and looking out for one another.”

On Wednesday, the province announced eight new cases of the virus, three of which included students attending universities in Nova Scotia.

 Of the cases reported on Wednesday, three were in the Northern zone, two are in the Eastern zone, and three were reported in the Central zone.

MOBILE TESTING UNIT GOES TO WORK IN TRURO

The province's mobile COVID-19 units made their first visit to Truro on Thursday.

Used as registration sites and for pop-up testing, they are open to asymptomatic residents and no appointment is necessary.

The long lineup was a sign people in Truro are on-board with getting tested.

"You know, you could catch it anywhere and you don't know where you're going or who's got it, so it's mostly piece of mind," said resident Scott Maxwell.

The mobile testing is on top of appointment based testing in town.

"We are a smaller community, but that doesn't mean that we can't get this awful disease," said resident Tania O'Leary. "So, it's important to do your part and stay safe."

The pop-up is a response to potential exposure warnings at nine locations throughout Truro announced over the past few days – many for retail stores.

"I was at one of the exposure sites, and I thought it was the responsible thing to do, to come and be tested," said resident Pat Coulter.

The mayor of Truro says he's glad to see so many people taking advantage of the different ways they can be tested for COVID-19 in the community. Even though case numbers here are low, he says the recent exposure notifications are proof the virus is here too.

"They sort of throw caution to the wind, it's not going to happen here," said mayor Bill Mills. "But I would caution people to be aware that you know it can change in a nanosecond."

This is the eighth time Nova Scotia's mobile units have been used during the pandemic, but they will become a more common sight down the road as Nova Scotia Health has eight more on order. They are expected to arrive before the end of March.

"The opportunity of the units is to come into town, set up a testing centre like we've done, and be available for the community to come and get a test at a pretty quick pace," said Holly Gillis, a communities manager with Nova Scotia Public Health.

N.S. COVID-19 DATA

The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 2,096 tests on Wednesday.

Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 135,524 tests. There have been 459 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths. Cases have ranged in age from under 10 to over 70. Four hundred and twenty-seven cases are now resolved.

Since the pandemic began, Nova Scotia has completed 258,702 tests. Cumulatively, there have been 1,548 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 65 total deaths.

There is currently no one in hospital due to COVID-19.

The provinces confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic range in age from under 10 to over 90.

Fifty-five per cent of cases are female, and 45 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: 89 cases
  • Central Zone: 1265 cases
  • Northern Zone: 120 cases
  • Eastern Zone: 74 cases

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to Jan. 24, 2021.

POST-SECONDARY STUDENTS URGED TO BOOK COVID-19 TESTS

Nova Scotia health officials continue to encourage all post-secondary students returning to Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada to book a COVID-19 test for Day 6, 7 or 8 of their 14-day self-isolation period.

Their COVID-19 tests can be pre-booked online three days in advance.

UPDATE ON VACCINES

Nova Scotia health reports 3,831 doses of the vaccine have been administered as of Jan. 9. Of those patients, 1,076 have received a second dose of the vaccine.

The province has received 13,450 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since the vaccine arrived on Dec. 15, with additional shipments scheduled to arrive weekly. Half of each vaccine shipment will be reserved to ensure second doses are available.

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