Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Nova Scotia is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday – bringing the total of active cases to 33.

On Saturday, the province announced that all eight new cases are in Central Zone. Two are connected to previously reported cases; six are under investigation.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says the increase in cases should serve as a reminder to follow health guidelines.

“These increasing case numbers tell us we need to follow public health protocols to get back on track, especially in the greater Halifax area,” said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, in a press release on Saturday. “We have restrictions and guidelines in place to protect the health of fellow Nova Scotians - limit social contacts, practice social distancing, wear a mask and wash your hands.”

The new cases mark a spike in cases in the past few months.

“This is the single largest jump in COVID-19 cases we have seen in our province in recent months,” said, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang, in a press release on Saturday. “It is critical that we all do our part to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, with cases increasing in the province, new restrictions in much of Halifax Regional Municipality and parts of Hants County will come into effect on Monday.

CASE BREAKDOWN

On Friday, Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,384 Nova Scotia tests.

To date, Nova Scotia has had 127,237 negative test results and 1,168 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those cases, 1,070 cases are considered resolved and 65 people have died as a result of the novel coronavirus, leaving 33 active cases in the province.

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

The province's confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.

Sixty per cent of cases are female and 40 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: 58 cases
  • Central Zone: 978 cases
  • Northern Zone: 77 cases
  • Eastern Zone: 55 cases

 

TWO HALIFAX AREA SCHOOLS TO CLOSE FOR TWO WEEKS

On Friday, the province announces two Halifax-area schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19 will be shut down for two weeks as a precaution.

Students who attend Graham Creighton Junior High School in Cherry Brook, N.S., and Auburn Drive High School in Cole Harbour, N.S., will move to online learning while the schools are closed. The schools are slated to reopen on Dec. 7.

“We are doing this as a precautionary measure, but the reality is, we have COVID in these two schools and in the surrounding communities,” said Premier Stephen McNeil during a press conference Friday afternoon.

Nova Scotia public health confirmed Thursday evening that there is a second case of COVID-19 at Auburn Drive High School.

"The new case is a close contact of an earlier reported case at the school," the province said in a news release.

Auburn Drive High School and its family of schools are closed for the day on Friday, Nov. 20. The family of schools includes:

    Astral Drive Elementary

    Astral Drive Junior High

    Bell Park Academic Centre

    Caldwell Road Elementary

    Colby Village Elementary

    Graham Creighton Junior High

    Humber Park Elementary

    Joseph Giles Elementary.

 

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

SELF-ISOLATION AND MANDATORY MASKS

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.

Anyone who travels to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic region for non-essential reasons is required to self-isolate for 14 days and must fill out a self-declaration form before coming to the province. Travellers must self-isolate alone, away from others. If they cannot self-isolate alone, their entire household must also self-isolate for 14 days.

Residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are not required to self-isolate when travelling to Nova Scotia, but they must be prepared to provide proof of their place of residency at provincial borders.

Visitors from outside the Atlantic region who have already self-isolated in another Atlantic province for 14 days may travel to Nova Scotia without having to self-isolate again.

It is mandatory to wear a face mask in indoor public spaces in Nova Scotia.