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


Nova Scotia announced 689 new cases of COVID-19 today, Thursday, Dec. 23, a one-day record. By Nova Scotia Health zone, the new cases break down as:
• 498 Central
• 55 Eastern
• 79 Northern
• 57 Western

There are now 14 people in hospital with the disease, four 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 are no new cases at Dartmouth General Hospital. Fewer than five patients have tested positive.

• St. Martha’s Regional Hospital (Antigonish) — There are no new cases. Fewer than five patients have tested positive.

• Halifax Infirmary — There are no new cases. Fewer than five patients have tested positive.

Nursing home outbreaks

• Roseway Manor — There is a new nursing home outbreak, at Roseway Manor in Shelburne — two staff members have tested positive, but no residents. Neither staff member is hospitalized, and 98% of residents have had a booster shot.

• Parkstone Enhanced Care — there are no new cases. In total, two residents and one staff member have tested positive. No one has been hospitalized.

• Parkland Antigonish — there are now new cases. In total, three residents and two staff members have tested positive. 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, 7,903 doses of vaccine were administered:
• 1,261 first doses
• 275 second doses
• 6,367 third doses

In total, there have been 1,758,286 doses of vaccine administered, which break down as:
• 66,289 people with only the first dose
• 688,470 people with the second dose but not the third
• 105,019 people with three doses

As of end of day yesterday, 88.5% of the entire population have received at least one dose of vaccine:
• 6.8% with one dose only
• 70.9% with two doses but not 3three
• 10.8% with three doses
• 11.5% unvaccinated

Appointments for booster are now open 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.

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 province announced today that demographic information won’t be added to the dashboard for the next four to six weeks, so I will discontinue this section until it returns.


Testing

Yesterday, Nova Scotia Health labs completed 8,181 PCR tests, with a positivity rate of 8.4%, which is very high and suggests there is lots of undetected COVID out there.

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

Friday, Dec. 24
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-3pm
Alderney Gate, 10am-2pm
Centennial Arena, 10am-2pm

Saturday, Dec. 25
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-3pm

Sunday, Dec. 26
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-3pm

Monday, Dec. 27
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm

Tuesday, Dec. 28
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
Alderney Gate, 4-6pm

Wednesday, Dec. 29
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
Alderney Gate, 10am-2pm

Thursday, Dec. 30
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm

Friday, Dec. 31
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-4pm
Alderney Gate, 10am-2pm

Saturday, Jan. 1
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-4pm

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 last Friday (except Learning Centres), these are likely somewhat dated):
• West Kings District High School, Auburn
• G.R. Saunders Elementary School, Stellarton
• Winding River Consolidated School, Stewiacke
• Astral Drive Junior High, Cole Harbour
• Auburn Drive High, Westphal
• Basinview Drive Community School, Bedford
• Bay View High School, Upper Tantallon
• Dartmouth High
• Dartmouth South Academy, Dartmouth
• Georges P. Vanier Junior High, Fall River
• Portland Estates Elementary, Dartmouth

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 schools and active advisories for potential COVID exposures on bus routes and flights here.

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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