Nova Scotia has announced five new COVID-19 cases on Monday. Seven previously reported cases are now considered recovered, dropping the active number of cases in the province to 26.

Two new cases are in the Central Zone and are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. The people are self-isolating, as required. One of the cases is a student at Dalhousie University in Halifax who lives off campus.

One new case is in the Western Zone and is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. The person is a student at Acadia University in Wolfville. The student lives on campus and has been self-isolating, as required.

Two cases are in Northern Zone. One case is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. The person is self-isolating, as required. The other case is a close contact of a previously reported case.

"Yesterday we reported no new cases of COVID-19, which is good news, but it is not an indication that COVID-19 is no longer a risk," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. "It is up to all of us to follow the public health measures to make sure we limit the spread of the virus."

POSITIVE CASES REPORTED AT N.S. UNIVERSITIES

Two of Monday's five new cases were identified at Nova Scotia universities.

According to the province, one of Monday's two cases identified in the Central zone involves a Dalhousie University student who lives off campus.

There is also a new positive case involving a student at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., in the province's Western zone.

In a statement posted to the Acadia University website, it was confirmed that a person on campus has tested positive for the virus.

Acadia says the case is related to travel, and the student is self-isolating in residence and has not experienced symptoms.

On Saturday, St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. confirmed its second positive case in a student. St. FX says that student has been self-isolating in residence since arriving at the university for the semester.

Post-secondary students returning to Nova Scotia from anywhere except Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador are strongly encouraged to book a COVID-19 test for day six, seven, or eight of their 14-day self-isolation period. COVID-19 testing appointments can be booked up to three days in advance.

FIRST VACCINE ADMINISTERED AT LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES, CAPE BRETON HOSPITAL

A nurse in Cape Breton became the first person in Nova Scotia outside of Halifax to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on Monday morning.

"Our vaccine rollout takes another important step today with the first clinic at a long-term care facility - Northwood's Halifax campus - and one at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital," said Premier Stephen McNeil. "Our health-care professionals are working hard to distribute the vaccine as quickly as possible. We can support them by being patient and continuing to follow all the public health measures that help us contain the virus."

The first shot given in the Eastern Zone was administered Monday morning at Cape Breton Regional Hospital.

The first vaccination went to Darlene White, a Licensed Practical Nurse in the hospital’s COVID-19 unit.

“It is exciting,” said White. “Hopefully we’re going to get back to I guess what we call the new normal. I don’t think we’ll ever be back to what we were in past years, but I think this is the first step.”

“Absolutely elated,” added Irenee Campbell, an emergency room nurse at Cape Breton Regional Hospital. “We’re very thrilled to have had this opportunity today, and we’re very excited that the vaccine has made it to Cape Breton which means frontline staff will now be protected, and soon after all of Cape Breton will have the opportunity to be protected against COVID.”

Vaccination clinics at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital and Valley Regional Hospital each received 1,950 doses of vaccine last week.

Another 2,925 doses are being shipped this week to the Colchester East Hants Health Centre with a clinic to begin there next Monday.

Long-term care residents in the province will also begin receiving the vaccine Monday, with the first doses being administered at Northwood’s Halifax campus, where 53 of the province's 65 pandemic-linked deaths occurred.

Seventy-seven-year-old Ann Hicks and 85-year-old Audrey Wiseman were among the first residents at the Northwood facility to receive shots of the Moderna vaccine on Monday.

The province has reserved 3,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine for three long-term care facilities, Northwood, Shannex Parkstone and Ocean View Continuing Care Centre.

Last week the province said that it expected to receive a combined total of 140,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines by the end of March -- enough to immunize 75,000 people during the first phase of its immunization plan.

The province received a combined 9,550 doses in December, with 2,720 doses of the Pfizer vaccine administered to front line health workers in the Halifax area and another 2,720 reserved for a second dose, while 3,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine were reserved for long-term care facilities.

The first vaccines were administered in Nova Scotia on Dec. 16, with Danielle Sheaves, a nurse who works in a COVID unit at the Halifax Infirmary, the first to receive the PFizer-BioNTech vaccine in the province.

Nova Scotia is expected to receive two shipments this week, containing 5,580 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and another 3,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

By the end of this week, the province will have received 23,000 doses of vaccine, enough to immunize 11,500 people.
About 140,000 doses are expected by the end of March in the first phase of a three-part immunization plan to vaccinate front-line workers and the elderly.

The province didn't provide an updated number Monday for how many Nova Scotians have been immunized to date, but between Dec. 16 and Jan. 2, there were 2,270 doses of vaccine administered.

The Nova Scotia Health Coalition says the vaccine rollout is at an important stage right now and are concerned about the data the province is sharing.

"The data the province is sharing is on a considerable lag," said Chris Parsons of the Nova Scotia Health Coalition. "They're only sharing data on vaccinations once a week where as almost every other province in the country is sharing daily numbers so as a result is actually really hard to understand how well or how poorly the rollout of the vaccine is going right now."

N.S. COVID-19 TESTS

The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 2,193 tests on Sunday.

Nova Scotia has done 252,351 tests. Cumulatively, there have been 1,533 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 65 total deaths.

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

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: 89 cases
  • Central Zone: 1258 cases
  • Northern Zone: 114 cases
  • Eastern Zone: 72 cases

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