Health officials in Nova Scotia reported 12 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, increasing the total number of active cases in the province to 29.

According to the province’s website, two previously-reported cases are now considered resolved.

The Nova Scotia Health Authority's labs completed 1,578 Nova Scotia tests on Tuesday.

Nine of the new cases are in the Central Zone, seven of which are close contacts to previously-reported cases. One case in this zone is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada, while the ninth case is still under investigation.

Two of the cases are in the province’s Western Zone. One case is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada, while the other case is a close contact of a previously-reported case.

The 12th case is in the Eastern Zone and is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. This case involves a student at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. The student lives on campus and has been self-isolating, as required.

The university received confirmation Tuesday that a student who arrived from outside Atlantic Canada on Jan. 3 tested positive while in isolation.

"The student remains in isolation but has been placed in a quarantine area of our residences at this time," said St. F.X. University president Dr. Andy Hakin."So, they're doing well is what we understand and they followed all protocols and my thanks go to that student for following through with the signs they may have had the virus."

In a news release on Wednesday, the province also said one of the cases reported on Monday has been identified as a student at Dalhousie University in Halifax. The student lives on campus and the case remains under investigation.

'THOSE ARE WAFFLE, WAFFLE WORDS'

Seniors advocate Bill VanGorder of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons thinks it's taking too long for the province to roll out the covid vaccine and is anxious to see seniors get the shots.

"Seniors are worried. Seniors are concerned that as we see the cases go up in other parts of the country that the same thing could happen here," VanGorder said. "The province seems to be really conservative, terribly slow. We don't know why they aren't able to move more quickly. They talk about wanting to plan and do it right; we've been vaccinating for flu for decades, why wouldn't we already know what the best way is to roll out this vaccine?"

Public health says it has set aside 3,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine and is working with three long-term care homes in the Halifax area to help them get set up to distribute it.

The goal is to get vaccination clinics up and running at the three facilties in mid-January.

That is not fast enough for advocates.

"The premier said the other day there's no vaccine sitting in a freezer in our province that's not committed to a Nova Scotian. Well, not committed doesn't mean it's actually being administrated," VanGorder said. "That's waffle, waffle words."

POST-SECONDARY STUDENTS URGED TO BOOK COVID-19 TESTS

Nova Scotia health officials are strongly encouraging 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.

“I want to welcome returning students and thank them for following public health protocols. I also remind asymptomatic students to get a COVID-19 test during their self-isolation,” said Premier Stephen McNeil.

“Staying vigilant and following all the protective measures will help keep our case numbers low as our vaccine program is rolled out across the province.”

CASE BREAKDOWN

Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 121,171 COVID-19 tests and confirmed 431 positive COVID-19 cases. Of those, 402 cases are now considered resolved, leaving 29 active cases.

No one has died during the second wave.

There is no longer anyone in hospital as a result of COVID-19.

“It is crucial that we all do our part to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang. “Together we have the ability to stop the virus from spreading exponentially by limiting social contacts, practicing social distancing, wearing a mask, washing our hands and self-isolating when required.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Nova Scotia has completed 244,349 tests, and reported a total of 1,520 cases of COVID-19. Of those, 1,426 cases are now considered resolved and 65 people have died as a result of the novel coronavirus.

The province's confirmed cases 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: 87 cases
  • Central Zone: 1,253 cases
  • Northern Zone: 111 cases
  • Eastern Zone: 69 cases

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to Jan. 10.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE NOTIFICATION

Anyone present at the following location on the specified date and time is asked to go online or call 811 to book a COVID-19 test regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Superstore North Sydney (125 King St., North Sydney)
  • Jan. 2 between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
  • May develop symptoms up to, and including, Jan. 16, 2021.
     
  • Fabricville (356 Welton St., Sydney)
  • Jan. 2 between 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.
  • May develop symptoms up to, and including, Jan. 16, 2021.

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

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.

It is mandatory to wear a face mask in indoor public spaces in Nova Scotia.