**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
Forty-four New Cases of COVID-19, Additional Variant Cases Identified
Forty-four new cases of COVID-19 are being reported in Nova Scotia today, April 23.
Thirty-three cases are in Central Zone, five of which were identified Thursday, April 22, at Dartmouth South Academy in Dartmouth, Ross Road School in Westphal, Holland Road Elementary in Fletchers Lake, St. Catherine’s Elementary in Halifax and St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay Elementary in Halifax.
Five cases are in Eastern Zone, four cases are in Western Zone and two are in Northern Zone.
One of the cases in Central Zone is a staff member at The Ivy Meadows, a long-term care facility in Beaver Bank. As a precaution, residents are being isolated and cared for in their rooms and the facility is closed to visitors and designated caregivers. The Ivy Meadows is working with public health on testing required for residents and staff. All residents were offered vaccinations earlier and the majority of residents accepted full vaccination with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Due to an increased number of investigations in recent days, exposure category (i.e., travel, close contact or unknown) is not always available by release time. A breakdown by zone identifying exposure categories will no longer be provided regularly. There are signs of community spread in Central Zone. At this time there are no signs of community spread in Eastern, Northern or Western Zone.
Seven UK variant cases have been identified. There have been 73 cases of the UK variant, 12 cases of the South African variant and one case of the Brazil variant identified in Nova Scotia.
“With the new restrictions taking effect today, we are asking Nova Scotians to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “We’ve done this before and we can do it again. We all have a responsibility to follow the public health measures that help to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe.”
As of today, Nova Scotia has 150 active cases of COVID-19.
Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 5,956 Nova Scotia tests on April 22.
There were 6,520 tests administered between April 16 and 22 at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Halifax and Sackville.
As of April 22, 260,788 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 34,493 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 364,314 tests. There have been 849 positive COVID-19 cases and two deaths. Four people are in hospital. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. There are 697 resolved cases. Cumulative cases may change as data is updated in Panorama.
“The new restrictions for the greater Halifax area come into effect today. I know it’s not easy, but it is a necessary step to allow us to limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “While the majority of the cases are in the Central Zone, COVID-19 can easily find its way into other parts of the province. We must all remain vigilant and continue working to limit spread within, and beyond, Halifax.”
Nova Scotians are strongly encouraged to seek asymptomatic COVID-19 testing, particularly if they have a large number of close contacts due to their work or social activities. Appointments can be booked at http://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/, by choosing the asymptomatic option. Rapid testing pop-up sites continue to be set up around the province as well. More information on testing can be found at http://www.nshealth.ca/coronavirustesting .
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, the person is directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days. Public health works to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with that person.
Anyone who has travelled from anywhere except Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador must self-isolate for 14 days. As always, anyone 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.
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 and operate at http://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia .
— additional information on COVID-19 case data, testing and vaccines is available at http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data/
— a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22, 2020 and extended to May 2, 2021
— online booking for COVID-19 testing appointments is available at http://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/
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)
If you need help with a non-crisis mental health or addiction concern call Community Mental Health and Addictions at 1-855-922-1122 (toll-free) weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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/