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


A man in his 50s who lived in Nova Scotia Health’s Northern Zone has died from COVID-19. He is the 111th Nova Scotian to die from the disease.

Additionally, Nova Scotia announced 537 new cases of COVID-19 today, Wednesday, Dec. 22. By Nova Scotia Health zone, the new cases break down as:
• 434 Central
• 36 Eastern
• 44 Northern
• 23 Western

There are now 10 people in hospital with the disease, three of whom are in ICU.

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 further threat to anyone else, and “recovery” only means they’re no longer contagious and not necessarily that they’re, er, recovered.

Hospital outbreaks

Dartmouth General — there is now an outbreak at Dartmouth General Hospital. Fewer than five patients have tested positive.

• St. Martha’s Regional Hospital (Antigonish) — There is one additional case, but still fewer than five patients are positive.

• Halifax Infirmary — There are no new cases.

Nursing home outbreaks

• Parkstone Enhanced Care — another resident has tested positive, bringing the total to two residents and one staff member. No one has been hospitalized.

• Parkland Antigonish — another resident has tested positive, for a total of three residents and two staff members. No one has been hospitalized.

• Ocean View Continuing Care Centre (Eastern Passage) — No new cases. A total of three staff members have tested positive. No one has been hospitalized.


Vaccination

Yesterday, 10,225 doses of vaccine were administered:
• 1,576 first doses
• 366 second doses
• 8,283 third doses

In total, there have been 1,708,855 doses of vaccine administered, which break down as:
• 65,303 people with only the first dose
• 694,562 people with the second dose but not the third
• 98,652 people with three doses

As of end of day yesterday, 88.4% of the entire population have received at least one dose of vaccine:
• 6.7% with one dose only
• 71.5% with two doses but not 3three
• 10.2% with three doses
• 11.6% unvaccinated

This morning, appointments for booster were opened to people 50 and over for whom 168 days have passed since their second shot.

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

There is a drop-in (no appointment necessary) vaccination clinics for anyone 5 years old or older to get their first or second dose of Pfizer at the following site tomorrow:

• 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

The dashboard is not updated, so I have no detailed demographic information.


Testing

Yesterday, Nova Scotia Health labs completed 7,816 PCR tests, with a positivity rate of 6.9%, suggesting there is a lot of undetected COVID in the province. This does not include the antigen tests administered at the pop-up testing sites.

The last round of pop-up testing has been scheduled for the following sites:

Thursday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm

Friday
Alderney Gate, 10am-2pm

The Department of Health notes that “If you test positive on a take-home rapid testing kit, do not book a PCR test. You need to assume you have COVID-19, assume you are contagious, and you and your household must self-isolate. You must inform your close contacts.”

This means that the announced daily new case counts will soon understate the actual number of cases.

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 11 schools (ss schools were closed to students Friday (except Learning Centres), these are likely somewhat dated):
• Evangeline Middle School, New Minas
• Cape Smokey Elementary, Ingonish
• Rankin School of the Narrows, Iona
• McCulloch Education Centre, Pictou
• West Pictou Consolidated School, Pictou
• Beaver Bank-Monarch Drive Elementary, Beaver Bank
• Bedford South School, Bedford
• Five Bridges Junior High, Stillwater Lake
• Portland Estates Elementary, Dartmouth
• Rockingstone Heights School, Halifax
• St. Andrews Consolidated School, St. Andrews

Additionally there were several potential COVID exposure advisories.

Note: it appears Public Health is very behind on contact tracing and therefore on the potential exposure advisories.

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.


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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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