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

Nova Scotia announced 52 new cases of COVID-19 today, Thursday, Dec. 9.

By Nova Scotia Health zone, the new cases break down as:
• 29 Central
• 18 Eastern
• 3 Northern
• 2 Western

The Department of Health has issued this statement about the outbreak at St. Francis Xavier University:

There are 38 new cases being reported today, and 59 in total so far, related to the outbreak at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish. So far, those infected are experiencing very mild symptoms because the cases are mostly young people who are fully vaccinated. More new cases are expected in the coming days. The university reports that about 98 per cent of the student body is vaccinated.

There has been no evidence of spread in classrooms or residences to date, and no secondary transmission in the community. Currently, the investigation has found the majority of spread happened in smaller, private gatherings. Most cases are related to those who attended activities December 2-5, both on and off campus. There is an ongoing enforcement investigation.

The university, students and community have been very cooperative and are complying with public health investigation advice, including testing. To help with finding cases, Nova Scotia Health’s testing centre has increased its hours of operation, the Public Health Mobile Unit will be in the community over the next several days and take-home test kits are being distributed by Nova Scotia Health and the university.

“Our priority right now is supporting those who are positive and containing any further spread on campus and in the community,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “The vaccine is doing its job by limiting spread and keeping symptoms mild, so this outbreak is very different from what we’ve seen in previous wave 4 outbreaks. Our concern level is lower because of wide-spread vaccinations and the symptoms we are seeing. It is important that community members and students diligently practice public health measures, especially masking and isolation if need be, and get tested if they have symptoms and attended any of the activities or had interactions with the people involved. A thank you to the people who have quickly come forward to be tested.”

There are now 194 known active cases in the province. Nine people are in hospital with the disease, four of whom are in ICU. Nineteen people are considered newly recovered, which means they are no longer contagious and not necessarily that they aren’t sick.


Vaccination

Vaccination data are not available today.

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

By age cohort, the new cases announced today are:
• 5 aged 0-11
• 0 aged 12-19
• 36 aged 20-39
• 7 aged 40-59
• 2 aged 60-79
• 1 aged 80+
There is a case missing from that breakdown; I don’t know why.

The active cases across the province are distributed as follows:

Central Zone
• 68 in the Halifax Peninsula/Chebucto Community Health Network
• 16 in the Dartmouth/Southeastern Community Health Network
• 20 in the Bedford/Sackville Community Health Network
• 0 in the Eastern Shore/Musquodoboit Community Health Network
•0 in the West Hants Community Health Network
• 3 not assigned to a Community Health Network
Total: 117

Eastern Zone
• 3 in the Cape Breton Community Health Network
• 1 in the Inverness, Victoria & Richmond Community Health Network
• 32 in the Antigonish & Guysborough Community Health Network
Total: 16

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

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


Testing

Nova Scotia Health labs completed 4,454 PCR tests yesterday. This does not include the antigen tests administered at the pop-up testing sites.

There is PCR testing at the Keating Centre (1100 Convocation Blvd, Antigonish) today, Thursday, from noon-3pm. Take-home antigen testing kits will also be available there.

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:

Thursday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm

Friday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm

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

Sunday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm

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

School-connected case notifications were issued yesterday for four schools yesterday:
• Beechville Lakeside Timberlea Senior Elementary
• Burton Ettinger Elementary
• Rockingham Elementary
• Tantallon Senior Elementary

Additionally, Nova Scotia Health many potential COVID exposure advisories last night, 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; you can zoom in and click on the coronavirus 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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  1. Typhoid Mary, the unvaccinated Ontario mother of a StFX student brought it for the X-ring ceremony and then went back home with it!!! 😉