As Nova Scotia reported three new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the province’s premier and top doctor said they are encouraged by the low case numbers following the holidays.

“May 2021 be better than 2020,” said Premier Stephen McNeil during a news conference on Tuesday. “I am pleased to begin today by saying our cases so far are moving in the right direction.”

“We’ve seen fairly stable single-digit new cases each day,” noted Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang. “The number of active cases continues to go down.”

Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,045 Nova Scotia tests on Monday.

With 11 more cases considered resolved, the number of active cases has dropped from 27 to 19.

Nova Scotia’s three latest cases are all located in the Central Zone. One is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada while the other two are under investigation.

Both Strang and McNeil acknowledged that health officials don’t have all the epidemiology from the holidays, but said the numbers reported so far are a good sign.

“It’s still early. We’re not yet two weeks from the peak of the holiday season, but our early indicators are by and large encouraging,” said Strang.

He said most of Nova Scotia’s active cases are linked to other known cases or travel outside of the province and the number of close contacts and exposures for each case remains low.

However, Strang also noted that health officials have not been able to identify a clear source of exposure for several of the recent cases -- at least one case in each of the province’s four health zones.

“That is a signal that we still need to remain very cautious when it comes to COVID,” said Strang.

“While the early indications are generally encouraging, and I do want to thank everybody for all their hard work throughout 2020, that work and that caution has to continue in 2021.”

As for COVID-19 restrictions, Strang said they are looking at how they might be able to loosen them if case numbers remain low, but said they will be taking a “slow, cautious and deliberate” approach.

VACCINE DOSES AND ROLLOUT PLAN

Starting Tuesday, Nova Scotia will report the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered weekly.

The province says 2,720 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered between Dec. 16 and Jan. 2.

The province also released new details about its COVID-19 immunization plan, stating that it expects more than a million doses of the vaccine to arrive in Nova Scotia by the summer. 

CASE BREAKDOWN

Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 119,593 COVID-19 tests and confirmed 419 positive COVID-19 cases. Of those, 400 cases are now considered resolved, leaving 19 active cases.

No one has died during the second wave.

There is no longer anyone in hospital as a result of COVID-19.

Since the start of the pandemic, Nova Scotia has completed 242,771 tests, and reported a total of 1,508 cases of COVID-19. Of those, 1,424 cases are now considered resolved and 65 people have died as a result of the novel coronavirus.

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

Fifty-five per cent of cases are female and 45 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: 85 cases
  • Central Zone: 1,244 cases
  • Northern Zone: 111 cases
  • Eastern Zone: 68 cases

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to Jan. 10.

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.