Nova Scotia reports two COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, 153 new cases

In what Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin described as an especially difficult briefing, Nova Scotia announced two new COVID-19 deaths and 153 new cases on Tuesday.

One of the people who died was a woman in her 50s, and one was a man in his 70s. Rankin said they both died at home from COVID complications – one was unknown to Public Health, as they had not tested positive before their death.

"This is indeed a very sad day," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer of Health. "These people are not cases or numbers – they are family, friends, and neighbours."

Strang said, due to privacy concerns, no further information can be released about the two deceased.

"On behalf of all Nova Scotians, I want to extend my sincere condolences to their family and friends," said Rankin. "We are so sorry for your loss."

There have been 69 COVID-19-related deaths in the province since the pandemic began.

One hundred and thirty nine of Tuesday’s 153 new cases are in the Central Zone. Ten are in the Eastern Zone, three are in the Northern Zone and one in the Western Zone.

Rankin also announced that the province will waive ambulance fees for those who call EHS due to COVID-19 symptoms.

Tuesday also marks one week since the latest round of lockdown restrictions have come into place in Nova Scotia.

"We need you to trust that these restrictions will work," added Rankin.

N.S. COVID-19 CASE DATA

Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed a record of 19,174 COVID-19 tests on Monday as the province works through its testing backlog.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 3,007 COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 1,878 cases have recovered and 69 people have died due to COVID-19.

There are currently 29 people in hospital due to COVID-19, eight of which are in intensive care.

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: 156 cases (27 active cases)
  • Central Zone: 2,479 cases (930 active cases)
  • Northern Zone: 163 cases (22 active cases)
  • Eastern Zone: 209 cases (81 active cases)

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to May 16, 2021.

CHANGES TO ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING STRATEGY

In order to address the test result backlog, Nova Scotia is shifting their COVID-19 asymptomatic testing strategy.

In the interim, most Nova Scotians are encouraged to use pop-up testing sites instead of booking a COVID-19 lab test over the next few days.

Individuals under the following categories are still encouraged to book lab tests:

  • Anyone with symptoms
  • Anyone who has been notified that they are a close contact of a known case
  • Anyone who has been at an exposure location
  • Anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador

Public health says anyone who does not meet the above criteria and has already booked an appointment should cancel it following the instructions provided in their confirmation email.

"Efforts are being made to increase rapid testing capacity around the province," wrote a spokesperson for the province in a media release on Friday.

Pop up testing locations operating on Tuesday include:

  • Alderney Gate Public Library (60 Alderney Dr., Dartmouth) - from noon to 7 p.m
  • Cineplex Bridgewater (349 Lahave St., Bridgewater) - from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m
  • Centre 200 (481 George St, Sydney) - from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Halifax Central Library (5440 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax) - from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Halifax Convention Centre (Argyle St. entrance, 1650 Argyle St., Halifax) - from noon to 7 p.m
  • John Martin School (7 Brule St. Dartmouth) - from noon to 7 p.m.
  • St. Andrews Community Centre (3380 Barnstead Lane, Halifax) - from noon to 7 p.m.

VACCINE UPDATE

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

As of Tuesday, 325,218 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. According to the province, 29.7 per cent of the population have received vaccines as of Thursday, with 3.8 per cent having received a second dose.

As Tuesday, Nova Scotia has received a total of 388,450 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since Dec. 15.

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