Nova Scotia reports one COVID-19 case Wednesday and six recoveries; community spread over in Halifax area

Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting one new case of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The case is in the province's Central zone and is related to travel.

Six previously reported cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active infections dropping to 39.

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

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, confirmed during a news conference Wednesday afternoon that there is no longer community spread in the Halifax area.

When asked if Nova Scotia was ready to move to the next phase of reopening, Strang said it all depends on how quickly Nova Scotians get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Other places in Canada and elsewhere are beginning to lift restrictions and we need to watch them carefully," Strang said. "The U.K. just announced its plan to fully reopen in about a week, but when you read the U.K. announcements they acknowledge that they are taking on significant risks, they are expecting significantly more cases and hospitalizations. A delta variant accounts for most of the cases in the U.K. and they do not have high enough to dose coverage in their population by their own acknowledgement."

Strang also pointed to the United States, which he said, is providing an "instructive example" of the dangers of reopening too quickly without adequate vaccination coverage while cases of the Delta variant are on the rise.

"There is a clear link now between lower COVID vaccination rates and more COVID deaths by state," Strang said. "As Mississippi state health officer says it is the unvaccinated people who are being diagnosed, who are going to hospital, and who were dying, and that's not a risk we are prepared to take in Nova Scotia. Our people, our health care system and our economy have been through enough. So we'll continue our cautious approach to reopening while we increase our vaccine coverage."

CASE DATA

Nova Scotia labs processed 3,891 tests on Tuesday.

There have been 5,864 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 5,731 people have recovered, and 92 have died due to COVID-19.

Public Health says there is one person in hospital, and they are in an intensive care unit.

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: 290 cases (no active cases)
  • Central zone: 4,652 cases (25 active cases)
  • Northern zone: 301 cases (no active cases)
  • Eastern zone: 619 cases (14 active cases)

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to July 11, 2021.

SECOND DOSES MOVED UP FOR SOME

More Nova Scotians are now able to move up the date for their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone who recieved their first dose on or before July 6 is now able to reschedule their second dose appointment to an earlier date.

Emails to schedule a second dose appointment will be emailed out in the coming days, according to public health.

Health officials also said on Wednesday that anyone who receives their first COVID-19 dose beginning July 7 will automatically receive an email to schedule their second dose afterward. 

Second dose rescheduling notices are sent to the email address provided at the time of booking the first dose.

Anyone who did not provide an email or does not receive a notice can call the toll-free line at 1-833-797-7772 to schedule or to request an email address be added and the notice issued.

SECOND DOSE WALK-INS OPEN FOR 55 AND OLDER IN HALIFAX 

Nova Scotia announced Wednesday that anyone 55 and older can now receive a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the Halifax Convention Centre Clinic without an appointment.

Public health says there are 400 doses of the Moderna vaccine available for walk-ins at the Halifax Convention Centre Vaccine Clinic Wednesday. First dose vaccines are available for those 18 and older and second dose is available for those 55 and older.

VACCINE UPDATE

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

As of Wednesday,1,011,039 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with approximately 73.2 per cent of the province's overall population having received at least one dose. Of those, 299,585 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.

The province says it has received a total of 1,256,250 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.

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.

MORE WALK-IN TESTING OPTIONS

Nova Scotia health is introducing several new walk-in testing centres and mobile units across the province.

Testing is open to anyone and can be convenient for out-of-province visitors arriving in Nova Scotia, public health said in a release.

A list of locations offering walk-in PCR COVID-19 testing in addition to testing by appointment can be found on the health authority's website. Rapid tests will not be offered at these locations.

Testing is available for all ages, for those who have symptoms, no symptoms (asymptomatic), have travelled or been to a potential exposure site and have been a close contact with a positive COVID case.

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.

Here is a list of testing sites that were open on Wednesday:

  • Royal Canadian Legion Branch 95 (1772 Bedford Hwy., Bedford) from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Halifax Convention Centre (1650 Argyle St, Halifax) from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Alderney Gate, main entrance (60 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Mobile pop-up unit (296 Pleasant St., Dartmouth) from 2 p.m. to 5:30 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 or difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion