Nova Scotia reports one new case of COVID-19 Monday; will move into Phase 4 on Wednesday

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HALIFAX —
Nova Scotia is reporting one new case of COVID-19 on Monday, as the active number of cases in the province rises to 37.

The new case was identified in the Eastern zone and involves a close contact of a previously reported case.

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

“We’re pleased with vaccination rates and our epidemiology continues to improve, putting us in a good position to move to Phase 4 of our reopening plan,” said Premier Rankin. “This doesn’t mean we can let our guard down, but it does mean we can enjoy larger gatherings and support businesses by exploring all that Nova Scotia has to offer this summer.”

The premier also confirmed that the province will be moving into Phase 4 or reopening on Wednesday.

Under the new rules, retail stores can operate at full capacity, churches and other venues can operate at half capacity or with a maximum of 150 people, and up to 50 people can attend outdoor family gatherings.

CASE DATA

Nova Scotia labs processed 2,959 tests on Sunday, and have now processed a total of 979,100 since the start of the pandemic.

There have been 5,871 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia. Of those, 5,742 people have recovered, and 92 have died due to COVID-19.

According to the province’s online dashboard, there are currently three people in hospital, with one in an intensive care unit.

Since April 1, there have been 4,129 positive COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths. Of the new cases since April 1, 4,066 are now considered resolved.

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: 291 cases (no active cases)
  • Central zone: 4,657 cases (21 active cases)
  • Northern zone: 301 cases (no active cases)
  • Eastern zone: 622 cases (16 active cases)

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, 2020, has been extended to July 25, 2021.

MOVE INTO PHASE 4 WEDNESDAY

Nova Scotia is set to move into Phase 4 of its reopening plan on Wednesday, which will further loosen restrictions.

“Things are looking good as we prepare to move into Phase 4 on Wednesday,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said during a news conference on Monday afternoon.

Phase 4 will allow many businesses to expand their capacity, as well as permitting some to have full capacity as long as it follows public health measures.

Entering Phase 4 is contingent on 75 per cent of the population having received at least one dose of vaccine – as of Monday, 73.9 per cent of the province’s overall population has received at least one dose.

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 Monday, 1,117,326 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with approximately 73.9 per cent of the province’s overall population having received at least one dose. Of those, 399,579, or 41.1 per cent of Nova Scotians have received their second dose.

“We continue to encourage everyone to get two doses of vaccine as soon as possible. That is the key to continuing our reopening and getting to a stage where restrictions can end,” said Strang. “Until then, we need to continue protecting each other by following these public health measures and getting tested regularly.”

Strang told reporters today about 90,000 Nova Scotians haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity to advance their appointments for second vaccine doses.

He says some people appear to be holding out for a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rather than the Moderna vaccine, and he says both vaccines are safe.

“To anyone who is simply waiting for Pfizer, please don’t wait,” Strang said. “There’s no real difference … both are safe and effective.

“The Delta variant has a foothold in other provinces and one dose is not enough to protect you,” he said, referring to a mutation of the novel coronavirus that is considered highly infectious.

The government is opening walk-in vaccination clinics for people 18 years and over, Strang said. Asked whether he believes the province should directly reach out via telephone or email to those who haven’t received their vaccines, Strang said he didn’t believe such a measure was necessary.

“We’re not at the point of reaching out to people individually,” he said. “I think you have to be careful you don’t become intrusive.”

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 introducting 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.

Monday, July 12:

  • Centennial Arena (27 Vimy Ave., Halifax) from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Royal Canadian Legion Branch 95 (1772 Bedford Hwy., Bedford) from 12 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

 

 

With files from The Canadian Press.

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