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Overview
Demographics
Testing
Vaccination
Schools
Potential exposure advisories

A record high 175 new cases of COVID-19 are announced in Nova Scotia today (Wednesday, May 5).

Of the new cases, 149 are in Nova Scotia Health’s Central Zone, 13 are in the Eastern Zone, nine are in the Northern Zone, and four are in the Western Zone.

“Case numbers continue to be very high and that’s not unexpected,” said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang in a press release. “As the lab worked through its backlog, positive cases were added into our data system and the data entry is still a bit behind. That delay is reflected in the high numbers we’re still seeing. The team is working hard and I expect data entry will catch up quickly. We should not take any comfort from this — even without a lag our numbers would still be too high. Nova Scotians need to stay the course and follow restrictions.”

Because the numbers are so large, Public Health is no longer able to provide the cause of cases (i.e., travel related, close contacts, etc.) by the time the release comes out.

There are now 1,203 known active cases in the province. Forty people are in hospital with the disease, and nine of those are in ICU.

Here are the daily new case numbers and the seven-day rolling averages (today at 127) for the current outbreak, dating from March 28, the last day Nova Scotia had zero new daily cases:

And here’s the graph of daily new cases and the seven-day rolling average since the start of the second wave (Oct. 1):

Here’s the graph of daily new case numbers from the start of the pandemic in March 2020:

Here is the active caseload for the current outbreak:

Here is the active caseload since the start of the second wave on Oct. 1:

And here is the active caseload from the start of the pandemic in March 2020:


Demographics

Today’s reported 175 cases are in the following demographics:
• 51 aged 19 or younger (20 girls or women, 31 boys or men)
• 58 aged 20-39 (30 women, 28 men)
• 52 aged 40-59 (30 women, 22 men)
• 11 aged 60-79 (7 women, 4 men)
• 3 aged 80 or over (1 woman, 2 men)

There is an alarming number of young people contracting COVID. Since April 18, over 25% of all new cases (359 of 1,393) have been among people 19 years old or younger, and the daily percentage of young people among new cases is growing:

The active cases are distributed as follows:

• 372 in the Halifax Peninsula/Chebucto Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 435 in the Dartmouth/Southeastern Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 95 in the Bedford/Sackville Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 28 in the Eastern Shore/Musquodoboit Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 5 is in the West Hants Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 71 in the Cape Breton Community Health Network in the Eastern Zone
• 17 in the Inverness, Victoria & Richmond Community Health Network in the Eastern Zone
• 3 in the Antigonish & Guysborough Community Health Network in the Eastern Zone
• 16 in the Colchester/East Hants Community Health Network in the Northern Zone
• 7 in the Pictou Community Health Network in the Northern Zone
• 1 in the Cumberland Community Health Network in the Northern Zone
• 13 in the Annapolis and Kings Community Health Network in the Western Zone
• 15 in the Lunenburg & Queens Community Health Network in the Western Zone
• 7 in the Yarmouth, Shelburne & Digby Community Health Network in the Western Zone

One-hundred-and-eighteen cases are not assigned to a Community Health Network, but they are in the Central Zone.


Testing

As noted above, Nova Scotia Health labs completed 11,506 tests yesterday. This figure does not include the tests taken at the various pop-up testing sites.

There is now some asymptomatic PCR testing in the Halifax area, but for the next few days, the only people elsewhere in the province who should be booking PCR tests are the following:

  • anyone with symptoms
  • anyone who has been notified that they are a close contact of a known case
  • anyone who has been at an exposure location
  • anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Everyone not in those categories or in the Halifax area should instead go to a rapid-testing pop-up site.

You do not need a health card to get tested.

Pop-up testing (antigen testing) is for asymptomatic people over 16 who have not been to the potential COVID exposure sites (see map below); results usually within 20 minutes. Pop-up testing has been scheduled for the following sites:

Wednesday
Alderney Gate Public Library, noon-7pm
John Martin School (Dartmouth), noon-7pm
Halifax Central Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
St Andrews Community Centre (Halifax), noon-7pm
Centre 200 (Sydney), 3-7pm
Cineplex Bridgewater, 2-6pm

Thursday
Alderney Gate Public Library, noon-7pm
John Martin School (Dartmouth), noon-7pm
Halifax Central Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
St Andrews Community Centre (Halifax), noon-7pm
Centre 200 (Sydney), 3-7pm

Friday
Alderney Gate Public Library, noon-7pm
John Martin School (Dartmouth), noon-7pm
Halifax Central Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
St Andrews Community Centre (Halifax), noon-7pm
Centre 200 (Sydney), 3-7pm
Tancook Recreation Centre, Big Tancook Island, 12:45-5:30pm

Saturday
Alderney Gate Public Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Central Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm

Sunday
Alderney Gate Public Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Central Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm

You can volunteer to work at the pop-up testing sites here. No medical experience is necessary.

Those who fall into the categories that require PCR testing can get tests at the Public Health Mobile Units or the Nova Scotia Health labs.

Public Health Mobile Units are available only for pre-booked appointments for PCR tests for people of all ages (results within three days). There are currently no mobile units scheduled.

You can also get PCR testing at the Nova Scotia Health labs by going here. Appointments can be made for the IWK, or for various locations in the health zones (appointments may not be available at each site):

Central Zone
Bayers Lake (41 Washmill Lake Drive)
Burnside/Dartmouth Crossing (77 Finnian Row)
Canada Games Centre
Dartmouth General Hospital Drive-Thru (No Taxis)
Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital
Mayflower Curling Club
Musquodoboit Valley Memorial Hospital
Saint Mary’s University (Homburg Centre)
Twin Oaks Memorial Hospital (Musquodoboit Harbour)
Zatzman Sportsplex

Northern Zone
Colchester Legion Stadium (14 Lorne Street, Truro)
Truro (625 Abenaki Road, with drive-thru at 600 Abenaki Road)
Truro Farmers Market Drive-Thru testing
Amherst (34 Prince Arthur Street)
Pictou County Assessment Center (678 East River Rd, New Glasgow)

Eastern Zone
Antigonish Market Square
Buchanan Memorial Community Health Centre (Neils Harbour)
Eastern Memorial Hospital (Canso)
Grand Lake Road Fire Hall (Sydney)
Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital
Membertou Entertainment Centre
Northside General Hospital (North Sydney)
Sacred Heart Community Health Centre (Cheticamp)
Strait Richmond Hospital (Evanston)
Victoria County Memorial Hosptial (Baddeck)

Western Zone
Acadia Festival Theatre
Acadia University Club
Berwick Firehall
Digby Station (7 Birch Street)
Liverpool PAC (157 School Street)
Roseway Hospital (Shelburne)
South Shore Assessment Centre (215 Dominion Road, Bridgewater)
Yarmouth Mariners Centre
Yarmouth Visitor Information Centre (228 Main Street)


Vaccination

Yesterday, 9,557 doses of vaccine were administered. So far, a total of 334,775 have been administered; of those, 36,858 have been second doses.

All people who are 50 or over can book an appointment for Pfizer or Moderna. People who are from 40 to 54 can book an appointment for the AstraZeneca. You can book an appointment here.


Schools

The current status of schools:

All schools in the province are closed until May 12.


Potential exposure advisories

Last night, Public Health issued the following list of potential COVID exposure advisories (the release also contained a couple of corrections from previous releases; I’ve updated the potential exposure map to reflect those corrections):

Anyone who worked at or visited the following locations on the specified dates and times should visit covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. You can also call 811 if you don’t have online access or if you have other symptoms that concern you.

Regardless of whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms, those present at the following locations on the named dates and times for at least 15 minutes are required to self-isolate while waiting for their test result. If you get a negative result, you do not need to keep self-isolating. If you get a positive result, you will be contacted by Public Health about what to do next.

  • Gateway Meat Market (667 Main St., Dartmouth) on April 29 between 11:00 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., April 30 between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., May 1 between 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., and May 2 between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.  It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 16.
  • The Halifax Alehouse (1717 Brunswick Street, Halifax) on April 22 between 8:00 pm and 12:00 am.  It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 6.

Regardless of whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms, any passengers who were on the following transit routes for at least 15 minutes on the named dates and times are required to self-isolate while waiting for their test result. If you get a negative result, you do not need to keep self-isolating. If you get a positive result, you will be contacted by Public Health about what to do next.

  • *CORRECTED TIME* – Halifax Transit Route 4 travelling from Lemarchant & University to Lacewood Terminal on April 22 between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.  It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 6.
  • Halifax Transit Route 72 (Portland Hills) travelling from Pinecrest Drive to Portland Hills Terminal on April 29 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and on May 1 between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 15.
  • Halifax Transit Route 68 (Cherry Brook) Portland Hills Terminal to Montague Road on April 29 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and on May 1 between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.  It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 15.
  • Halifax Transit Route 61 (Auburn/North Preston) Alderney Terminal to Portland Hills Terminal on April 24 between 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.  It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 8.
  • Halifax Transit Route 59 (Colby) Portland Hills Terminal to Bridge Terminal on April 24 between 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 8.
  • Halifax Transit Route 1 (Spring Garden) Bridge Terminal to Spring Garden Road on April 24 between 6:00 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.  It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 8.

Anyone who was on the following flights in the specified rows and seats should visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en to book a COVID-19 test,regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. You can also call 811 if you don’t have online access or if you have other symptoms that concern you.

  • Air Canada 8780 travelling on April 29 from Montreal (8:00 a.m.) to Halifax (10:30 a.m.).  Passengers in rows 16-22, seats A, C and D are asked to immediately visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. All other passengers on this flight should continue to self-isolate as required and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on this flight on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 13.
  • West Jet 3346 on April 27 from Toronto (9:00 a.m.) to Halifax (12:30 p.m.). Passengers in rows 1-7, seats A, B and C are asked to immediately visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. All other passengers on this flight should continue to self-isolate as required and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on this flight on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 11.

I’ve collected all the active advisories for potential COVID exposures on bus routes and flights here.

The updated potential COVID exposure advisory map is below; you can click on the icons to get information about each site. I’ve also added school-connected cases to the map. Note: in HRM, potential exposure sites that are considered low-risk for transmission are no longer subject to advisories; that’s because everyone in HRM is encouraged to get tested, whether they were at a potential exposure site or not.


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Tim Bousquet

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon