**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
Four New Cases of COVID-19, State of Emergency Renewed
As of today, Dec. 23, Nova Scotia has 35 active cases of COVID-19. Four new cases are being reported today.
Two cases are in Central Zone. One of the cases is a close contact of a previously reported case and the other case is under investigation.
One case is in Western Zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case.
One case is in Eastern Zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case. This case is not linked to the case reported in the Eskasoni First Nation community on Dec. 19.
A rapid pop-up testing site was set up in Eskasoni yesterday. There were 130 tests completed and no positive tests identified. The pop-up testing site is also available today. There is no indication of community exposure or spread in Eskasoni at this time.
Two of the cases being reported today are close contacts of previously reported cases in another province or territory. The people are not in Nova Scotia, but since they are Nova Scotia residents, they are included in our cumulative provincial data.
“This holiday season is different as we take the necessary steps to protect each other and contain the virus,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “Keeping gatherings small, limiting travel around the province, and following all the other public health guidelines is an essential part of having a safe holiday.”
Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,519 Nova Scotia tests on Dec. 22.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 102,913 tests. There have been 369 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths. No one is currently in hospital. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 70. Three hundred and thirty-four cases are now resolved. Cumulative cases may change as data is updated in Panorama.
“I want to remind people that across the province the gathering limit is 10, no matter how many people live in your house. And if you do need to travel this holiday season, go from point A to point B without making any unnecessary stops along the way,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “Now is not the time to let our guard down. Continue to follow all the public health guidelines as you celebrate this holiday season.”
COVID-19 case reporting will take a brief pause during the upcoming holidays.
There will be no data updates or news releases on Dec. 25, 26 or 27, except in unusual circumstances.
On Dec. 28 data will be updated and a news release issued. Information about the remaining holiday schedule will also be available at that time.
The province is renewing the state of emergency to protect the health and safety of Nova Scotians and ensure safety measures and other important actions can continue. The order will take effect at noon Sunday, Dec. 27 and extend to noon Sunday, Jan. 10, unless government terminates or extends it.
Visit http://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to do a self-assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had or you are currently experiencing:
— fever (i.e. chills/sweats) or cough (new or worsening)
Two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):
— sore throat
— runny nose/nasal congestion
— shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
Call 811 if you cannot access the online self-assessment or wish to speak with a nurse about your symptoms.
When a new case of COVID-19 is confirmed, public health works to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with that person. Those individuals who have been confirmed are being directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.
Anyone who has travelled outside of Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. As always, any Nova Scotian who develops symptoms of acute respiratory illness should limit their contact with others until they feel better.
It remains important for Nova Scotians to strictly adhere to the public health order and directives – practise good hand washing and other hygiene steps, maintain a physical distance when and where required. Wearing a non-medical mask is mandatory in most indoor public places.
Rules concerning interprovincial travel within Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have changed. The premiers of all four Atlantic provinces are cautioning against non-essential travel into neighbouring provinces. Currently, all non-essential travel into Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador requires a 14-day self-isolation. All public health directives of each province must be followed. Under Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act order, visitors from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days unless they completed their self-isolation in another Atlantic province.
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .
Businesses and other organizations can find information to help them safely reopen at http://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia .
— testing numbers are updated daily at http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
— a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22 and extended to Jan. 10
— online booking for COVID-19 testing appointments is available for Nova Scotians getting a test at all primary assessment centres or at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax
Government of Canada: http://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)
The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)
Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)
For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)
For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/symptoms-and-testing/
The COVID-19 self-assessment is at http://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/