N.S. will not move into Phase 5 until COVID-19 vaccine goal is reached; five new cases Thursday

COVID-19 vaccination numbers in Nova Scotia have increased again as the province works towards reaching its goal of having 75 per cent of the entire population fully vaccinated.

As of Thursday, 1,449,655 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, according to the province's COVID-19 online dashboard.

In total, 78 per cent of the province's overall population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 71.3 per cent of Nova Scotians have received their second dose.

Following his first cabinet meeting since becoming premier, Tim Houston told reporters he will hold off on moving into Phase 5 of Nova Scotia's COVID-19 reopening plan until 75 per cent of the province's entire population is fully vaccinated against the virus.

Phase 5 is currently scheduled to come into effect on Sept. 15.

"The 75 per cent is the hurdle that puts us into Phase 5," Houston said. "If that's not met, we don't start Phase 5 until it is."

All Nova Scotians are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they are eligible. COVID-19 vaccination appointments can be made online or by phone at 1-833-797-7772.

FIVE NEW CASES

Nova Scotia is reporting five new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

One of Thursday's cases is in the Western region and remains under investigation. 

Three cases are in the Central zone. Two are close contacts of previously reported cases and one is under investigation.

One case is in the Northern zone and is related to travel.

In a news release on Thursday, Public Health says four previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active infections remaining at 60.

Public Health says it is closely monitoring all four health zones for community spread.

COVID-19 CASE DATA

Nova Scotia Health Authority's labs completed 3,792 COVID-19 tests on Wednesday. A total of 1,123,675 COVID-19 tests have been processed since the start of the pandemic.

According to the province's online COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 6,042 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 5,888 people have recovered, and 94 have died due to COVID-19.

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

Since April 1, there have been 4,300 positive COVID-19 cases and 28 deaths. Of the new cases since April 1, 4,212 are now considered resolved.

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: 305 cases (6 active case) 
  • Central zone: 4,783 cases (46 active cases)  
  • Northern zone: 320 cases (6 active cases) 
  • Eastern zone: 634 cases (2 active cases)

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to September 5, 2021.

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

With files from The Canadian Press.