Jump to sections in this article:
Overview of today’s cases
Vaccination
Demographics
Testing
Potential exposure advisories

Nova Scotia announced 287 new cases of COVID-19 today, Thursday, Dec. 16.

By Nova Scotia Health zone, the new cases break down as:
• 191 Central
• 57 Eastern
• 24 Northern
• 15 Western

There remain just six people in hospital with the disease, two of whom are in ICU. No one in the Eastern Zone (Antigonish is in the Eastern Zone) is hospitalized with the disease. As well, there are no new cases at Parkland Antigonish.

On the other hand, there were nine school-connected case notifications issued yesterday (see the list in the “Potential exposure advisories” section below).

Because of the backlog in data gathering by Public Health, I don’t have active case or recovery numbers, but as I see it, those aren’t so important — active cases are self-isolating and so aren’t a threat to anyone else, and “recovery” only means they’re no longer contagious and not necessarily that they’re, er, recovered.

Premier Tim Houston and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang have scheduled a COVID briefing for 2pm tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 17).


Vaccination

Yesterday, 10,848 doses of vaccine were administered:
• 2,047 first doses
• 387 second doses
• 8,414 third doses

In total, there have been 1,708,855 doses of vaccine administered, which break down as:
• 58,862 people with only the first dose
• 725,305 people with the second dose but not the third
• 66,461 people with three doses

By end of day yesterday, 88.3% of the entire population (including babies, toddlers, etc.) have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 82.3% have received at least two doses.

Vaccination appointments for people 5 years of age and older can be booked here.

Additionally, there are drop-in vaccination clinics (no appointment necessary) in the Western Zone in coming days, for anyone five years old or older, for first or second shots, at:

Clare Health Centre (8559, Highway 1, Meteghan Centre)
• Friday, Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• North Queens Fire Hall (9793 Nova Scotia Trunk 8, Caledonia)
Thursday, Dec. 16 from 2 to 7 p.m.

West Pubnico Legion (668 NS-335, West Pubnico)
• Thursday, Dec. 16 from 2 to 7 p.m.

New Minas Fire Dept (6 Jones Road, New Minas)
• Thursday, Dec. 16 from 2 to 7 p.m.

Yarmouth Mariners Centre (45 Jody Shelley Dr, Yarmouth)
• Friday, Dec. 17 from 2 to 7 p.m.

Aylesford Fire Hall (1083 Park St, Aylesford)
• Friday, Dec. 17 from 2 to 7 p.m.

People in rural areas who need transportation to a vaccination appointment should contact Rural Rides, which will get you there and back home for just $5. You need to book the ride 24 hours ahead of time.


Demographics

Again, because of the backlog, only 92 new cases have been entered into the provincial COVID dashboard (this underreports the total). Those cases by age cohort:
• 14 aged 0-11
• 15 aged 12-19
• 44 aged 20-39
• 15 aged 40-59
• 2 aged 60-79
• 1 aged 80+

The active cases across the province (as reported on the dashboard, not as announced) are distributed as follows:

Central Zone
• 137 in the Halifax Peninsula/Chebucto Community Health Network
• 38 in the Dartmouth/Southeastern Community Health Network
• 75 in the Bedford/Sackville Community Health Network
• 0 in the Eastern Shore/Musquodoboit Community Health Network
• 2 in the West Hants Community Health Network
• 52 not assigned to a Community Health Network
Total: 304

Eastern Zone
• 7 in the Cape Breton Community Health Network
• 4 in the Inverness, Victoria & Richmond Community Health Network
• 201 in the Antigonish & Guysborough Community Health Network
Total: 212

Northern Zone
• 12 in the Colchester/East Hants Community Health Network
• 12 in the Pictou Community Health Network
• 12 in the Cumberland Community Health Network
Total: 36

Western Zone
• 12 in the Annapolis and Kings Community Health Network
• 1 in the Lunenburg & Queens Community Health Network
• 5 in the Yarmouth, Shelburne & Digby Community Health Network
Total: 18


Testing

Nova Scotia Health labs completed 7,852 tests yesterday. This does not include the antigen tests administered at the pop-up testing sites.

Self-testing kits are now available at libraries throughout the province. The kits come in packs of five, and there’s a limit of one pack per person. I saw today that both the Central Library and the Alderney Library had run out of kits but were expecting more to be delivered; probably best to call your library to see if they have them before going there.

Additionally, pop-up testing has been scheduled for the following sites (take-home tests are also available at these sites):

Thursday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-4pm
Cole Harbour Place, 11m-6pm
Bedford Legion, 11am-6pm

Friday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-4pm
Hammonds Plains Community Centre, 10m-5pm
Bedford Legion, 11am-6pm

Saturday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
Alderney Gate, 10am-2pm

Sunday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-4pm

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

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 each of the health zones (appointments may not be available at each site).


Potential exposure advisories

There were school-connected case notifications issued yesterday for nine schools:
• Astral Drive Junior High, Cole Harbour
• Atlantic Memorial Terence Bay Elementary, Shad Bay
• Ellenvale Junior High, Dartmouth
• Hammonds Plains Consolidated, Hammonds Plains
• Antigonish Education Centre, Antigonish
• Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School, Antigonish
• St. Andrews Consolidated School, St. Andrews
• Strait Area Education and Recreation Centre (SAERC), Port Hawkesbury

Additionally there were many potential COVID exposure advisories, especially in Antigonish..

We’ve collected all the active advisories for potential COVID exposures on bus routes and flights here. I’ll be adding schools to the map tonight.

The updated potential COVID exposure advisory map is below. Blue school icons denote school-connected case notifications. Yellow caution signs are “precaution notifications” (fully vaccinated people need take no action beyond looking for symptoms and getting tested), and red coronavirus icons means everyone must self-isolate & get tested. You can zoom in and click on the coronavirus icons to get information about each site.

* As originally published, this article misstated the number of cases tied to StFX.


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Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. What can we take away from the stat of 6 hospitalizations I wonder. Some info out there suggests that the omicron is just as strong as the other versions of COVID. Also, it seems to manifest itself a few days earlier than the main COVID bugs we’ve seen to date. With that being the case, I expect the N.S. hospitalizations to skyrocket within days. Still, the 6 in hospital seems weird. /bc