**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
Four New Cases of COVID-19, Variant Cases Identified, State of Emergency Renewed
Four new cases of COVID-19 are being reported today, Jan. 22. Nova Scotia has 22 active cases.
One case is in Central Zone and is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. The person is self-isolating, as required.
Two cases are in Western Zone and are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. Both people are self-isolating, as required. One of the cases is a student at Acadia University in Wolfville. The student had completed the required 14-day self-isolation but tested positive shortly afterward and is self-isolating again.
One case is in Northern Zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case.
One of the cases reported Thursday, Jan. 21 in Northern Zone is connected to École acadienne de Truro, a pre-primary to Grade 12 school in Truro. Although the case was reported yesterday, because it came in after yesterday’s cut-off for reporting, it will appear on the data website and dashboard as one of the cases being reported today.
Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,450 Nova Scotia tests on Jan. 21. The lab confirmed today that the National Microbiology Lab identified two variant cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, one UK and one South African variant, tested in December. Both of the cases were related to travel outside of Canada and were reported in Central Zone.
As part of ongoing surveillance, Nova Scotia has been submitting samples to the National Microbiology Laboratory for sequencing since the first wave of the pandemic. The province has submitted all the positive samples from the first wave for sequencing and there were none that were of the UK or South African variant. Samples will continue to be submitted for sequencing as necessary based on case information.
As of Jan. 21, 10,575 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 2,705 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.
There were 918 tests administered between Jan. 15 and 21 at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Halifax, Bridgewater, Wolfville and Millbrook.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 149,042 tests. There have been 481 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths. No one is currently in hospital. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 70. Four hundred and fifty-nine cases are now resolved. Cumulative cases may change as data is updated in Panorama.
Post-secondary students returning to Nova Scotia from anywhere except Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador are strongly encouraged to visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test for day six, seven or eight of their 14-day self-isolation period. COVID-19 testing appointments can be booked up to three days in advance.
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, Jan. 24 and extend to noon Sunday, Feb. 7, unless government terminates or extends it.
Visit https://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.
Public Health Restrictions Extended
Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced today, Jan. 22, that most public health restrictions will be extended until at least Feb. 7.
“We are still in the middle of a severe second wave of COVID-19 with other provinces and countries facing high case numbers, including our neighbours in New Brunswick,” said Premier McNeil. “That’s why we are continuing our cautious approach in easing restrictions as we focus on protecting Nova Scotians from the virus.”
Some restrictions for sports and arts and culture organizations will be eased starting Jan. 25. Changes include:
— sports teams can start playing games, but spectators are not permitted and there can be no games or tournaments involving teams that would not regularly play against each other
— non-team sports can also resume competition, but without spectators and only among competitors who would regularly compete against each other
— the limit for sports practices, training and games and arts and culture rehearsals and classes will return to 50
— arts and culture performances can only be virtual and cannot have in-person spectators
Also starting Jan. 25, residents of adult service centres and regional rehabilitation centres can resume community visits for work and volunteering.
Other provincewide restrictions are continuing until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 7. They include:
— gathering limit of 10, both in your home and in the community
— restaurants and licensed establishments stop service by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.
— retail businesses and malls operate at 50 per cent capacity
— fitness facilities operate at 50 per cent capacity and have three metres between people for high-intensity activities, including indoor and outdoor fitness classes
— social events, festivals, special events, arts and cultural events and sports events are not permitted
— faith gatherings, wedding ceremonies and funeral services can have 150 people outdoors or 50 per cent of an indoor venue’s capacity, to a maximum of 100
— wedding receptions and funeral receptions and visitation are not permitted
“The situation in New Brunswick shows us how quickly things can turn with this virus and how hard it is to regain control once it has been lost,” said Dr. Strang. “We are asking Nova Scotians to stay the course with our restrictions and keep following the public health protocols that help keep us all safe.”
— people can book a COVID-19 test at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en
Government of Canada: https://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 https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/symptoms-and-testing/
The COVID-19 self-assessment is at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/