Nova Scotia reports 14 new COVID-19 cases Monday, 36 recoveries

Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.

According to public health, 11 cases are in the province's Central zone.

Nine of these cases are close contacts of previously reported infections, while two remain under investigation.

The other two positive COVID-19 cases in the Central zone were reported on Sunday, and are connected to the Graham Creighton Junior High in Dartmouth and Bedford, and the Forsyth Education Centres (Dartmouth campus). Both of these cases are close contacts of previously reported cases. Health officials say although these cases were reported on Sunday, they were announced after the cut-off time for reporting, which is why they appear on the province's online COVID-19 dashboard on Monday.

Not included in Monday's numbers, but announced later Monday evening is another case at Halifax West High School.

"The school will close to students until Friday, June 11, to allow for testing of close contacts and a deep cleaning of the school," public health wrote in a news release. "Students will learn from home during the closure beginning Wednesday, June 9."

Paul Wozney, the president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, says he hopes the recent cases in schools are isolated incidents.

"The conditions are certainly there for spread to happen explosively once again, which would be tragic because staff and students and families have worked so hard all year long to kind of end the year on a positive note," said Wozney.

Two of Monday's cases are in the Eastern zone and are both close contacts of previously reported cases.

One case is in the province's Western zone and is related to travel.

There were no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the Northern zone on Monday.

There is limited community spread in Central Zone. Eastern, Northern and Western Zones continue to be closely monitored for community spread.

"The timeline in which we've been able to bring the curve down has exceeded even what I expected we could do, and that is credit to all Nova Scotians," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health.

Thirty-six of the province's previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases dropping to 182.

Public health also announced a list of COVID-19 public exposure sites on Monday evening.

UPDATE ON ASTRAZENECA

Last week, health officials in Nova Scotia announced anyone who received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine can rebook their second shot for the AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

During a live news conference on Monday, Strang said a small study shows that a second shot of an mRNA vaccine, like Pfizer or Moderna, after a first dose of AstraZeneca, results in a better immune response than two doses of AstraZeneca.

“Based on this emerging evidence and the risk of rare but serious blood clotting events with the AstraZeneca vaccine, I'm now recommending that anyone who got a first dose of AstraZeneca get a second dose with an mRNA vaccine," said Strang.

Strang says individuals can still choose AstraZeneca as their second dose if that is their preference or if they are unable to use mRNA vaccines.

N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA

The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 2,057 tests on Sunday. The province has completed 849,042 tests since the pandemic began.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 5,680 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 5,407 cases have recovered and 88 people have died due to the novel coronavirus.

According to Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard, there are currently 22 people in hospital due to COVID-19, with seven in the intensive care unit. The median age of people hospitalized in the third wave is 53 for non-ICU, and 55 for people in ICU.

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: 281 cases (5 active cases)
  • Central Zone: 4,528 cases (123 active cases)
  • Northern Zone: 298 cases (12 active case)
  • Eastern Zone: 573 cases (42 active cases)

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to June 13.

VACCINE UPDATE

Nova Scotia's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the number of vaccines that have been administered to date.

As of Monday, 637,911 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. In a news conference on Monday, Premier Iain Rankin says approximately 61 per cent of the province's overall population has received at least one dose.

Nova Scotia has received a total of 651,950 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.

NOVA SCOTIANS ENCOURAGED TO SEEK ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING

Public health is strongly encouraging Nova Scotians to seek asymptomatic COVID-19 testing, particularly if they have had several social interactions, even with their own social circle.

COVID-19 tests can be booked through the province's online self-assessment COVID-19 tool, or by calling 811.

People can also visit one of Nova Scotia’s rapid pop-up testing sites that continue to operate throughout the province.

  • Mobile unit will be at the top of Citadel Hill, 5425 Sackville St., Halifax from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Alderney Gate Public Library, 60 Alderney Dr. Dartmouth from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Gardn Rd. Halifax from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Halifax Convention Centre, 1650 Argyle St. Halifax from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Centennial Arena, 27 Vimy Ave., Halifax from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Centre 200, 481 George St, Sydney from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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