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

Nova Scotia announced 485 new cases of COVID-19 today, Monday, Dec. 20.

By Nova Scotia Health zone, the new cases break down as:
• 317 Central
• 57 Eastern
• 36 Northern
• 75 Western

There is an outbreak at Parkstone Enhanced Care in Halifax. 1 resident and 1 staff member have tested positive. No one is in hospital, and all staff and residents are fully vaccinated.

There are now nine people in hospital with the disease, two of whom are in ICU.

Premier Tim Houston and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang have scheduled a COVID briefing for tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 21) at 2pm.

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.


Vaccination

Over the past three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), 13,018 doses of vaccine were administered:
• 3,192 first doses
• 423 second doses
• 9,403 third doses

In total, there have been 1,708,855 doses of vaccine administered, which break down as:
• 63,030 people with only the first dose
• 709,481 people with the second dose but not the third
• 83,071 people with three doses

By end of day yesterday, 88.0% of the entire population (including babies, toddlers, etc.) have received at least one dose of vaccine, as follows:
• 6.4% have received only one dose
• 73.0% have two doses but not three
• 8.6% have three doses
Note: my figures are somewhat lower than the percentages on the provincial dashboard. I’ve checked and re-checked, and my figures are correct.

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

There are drop-in (no appointment necessary) vaccination clinics for anyone 12 years old or older to get their first or second dose of Pfizer the following sites this week:

• Captain William Spry Community Centre (16 Sussex St, Halifax), Monday, Dec. 20 from 2 to 7pm

• Cole Harbour Public Library (51 Forest Hills Parkway, Dartmouth), Tuesday, Dec. 21 from noon to 7pm

There are drop-in (no appointment necessary) vaccination clinics for anyone 5 years old or older to get their first or second dose of Pfizer the following sites this week:

• St. FX University, Keating Centre Conference Room (1100 Convocation Blvd., Antigonish), Wednesday, Dec. 22 from 10am to 3pm.

• Centre 200 (481 George St., Sydney), Thursday, Dec. 23 from 10am to 3pm

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 262 new cases have been entered into the provincial COVID dashboard (this underreports the total). Those cases by age cohort:
• 20 aged 0-11
• 46 aged 12-19
• 109 aged 20-39
• 65 aged 40-59
• 19 aged 60-79
• 3 aged 80+

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

Central Zone
• 163 in the Halifax Peninsula/Chebucto Community Health Network
• 59 in the Dartmouth/Southeastern Community Health Network
• 119 in the Bedford/Sackville Community Health Network
• 5 in the Eastern Shore/Musquodoboit Community Health Network
• 5 in the West Hants Community Health Network
• 49 not assigned to a Community Health Network
Total: 400

Eastern Zone
• 14 in the Cape Breton Community Health Network
• 8 in the Inverness, Victoria & Richmond Community Health Network
• 202 in the Antigonish & Guysborough Community Health Network
Total: 224

Northern Zone
• 16 in the Colchester/East Hants Community Health Network
• 35 in the Pictou Community Health Network
• 5 in the Cumberland Community Health Network
Total: 56

Western Zone
• 20 in the Annapolis and Kings Community Health Network
• 3 in the Lunenburg & Queens Community Health Network
• 7 in the Yarmouth, Shelburne & Digby Community Health Network
Total: 30


Testing

Yesterday, Nova Scotia Health labs completed 9,198 PCR tests, with a positivity rate of 5.3%, which isn’t great but it hasn’t increased. 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. 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):

Tuesday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
Alderney Gate, 4-6pm
Lebrun Recreation Centre, 10am-5pm

Wednesday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
Alderney Gate, 10am-2pm
Lebrun Recreation Centre, 10am-5pm

Thursday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm

Friday
Alderney Gate, 10am-2pm

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 for 28 schools since Friday:
• Northeast Kings Education Centre, Canning
• McCulloch Education Centre, Pictou (2X)
• New Glasgow Academy, New Glasgow
• North Nova Education Centre, New Glasgow
• West Pictou Consolidated School, Pictou (3X)
• École acadienne de Pomquet, Pompuet
• Ash Lee Jefferson Elementary, Fall River
• Bedford South School, Bedford • Brookside Junior High, Hatchet Lake
• George Bissett Elementary, Dartmouth
• Hammonds Plains Consolidated, Hammonds Plains
• Madeline Symonds Middle School, Hammonds Plains
• Millwood High School, Middle Sackville
• Oxford School, Halifax
• O’Connell Drive Elementary, Porters Lake
• Portland Estates Elementary, Dartmouth
• Rocky Lake Junior High, Bedford
• Sackville High, Lower Sackville
• St Josephs Alexander McKay, Halifax
• St Margarets Bay Elementary, Head of St Margarets Bay
• Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School, Antigonish (2X)
• Saint Andrew Junior School, Antigonish
• Tamarac Education Centre, 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 mean everyone must self-isolate and get tested. You can zoom in and click on the 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. From the Halifax library’s website: “UPDATE, December 20 at 4:50pm: We’re currently out of take home rapid testing kits and will not be restocking in the near future. Visit the info page on novascotia.com for alternate pick-up locations.”