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

Nova Scotia announced 611 new cases of COVID-19 today, Friday, Dec. 24.

By Nova Scotia Health zone, the new cases break down as:
• 393 Central
• 60 Eastern
• 59 Northern
• 99 Western

The graph above shows the weekly (Sat-Fri) number of new cases for the duration of the pandemic.

There is one new case reported at Parkstone Enhanced Care in Halifax, for a total of two residents and two staff members. No one is in hospital. There are now additional new cases related to outbreaks in nursing homes or hospitals.

The Department of Health estimates that there are 4,266 active cases of COVID in the province. There are now 15 people in hospital with the disease, four of whom are in ICU.

The graph below shows the number of people in hospital and in ICU on Fridays for the duration of the pandemic.


Vaccination

Yesterday, 5,130 doses of vaccine were administered:
• 639 first doses
• 177 second doses
• 4,314 third doses

In total, there have been 1,763,416 doses of vaccine administered, which break down as:
• 66,751 people with only the first dose
• 684,333 people with the second dose but not the third
• 109,333 people with three doses

By end of day yesterday, 88.6% of the entire population have received at least one dose of vaccine:
• 6.9% with one dose only
• 70.4% with two doses but not three
• 11.3% with three doses
• 11.4% are unvaccinated

The graph above shows the vaccination progress as captured on Fridays through the pandemic. The yellow line is people with at least one dose of vaccine The blue line is people with only one dose. The green line is people with only two doses. The grey line is people with three doses. The red line is 80% of the population.

Due to heavy volumes of cases, the vaccination status of recent cases, hospitalizations, and deaths is not being provided for the next four to six weeks.

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.


Testing

Nova Scotia Health labs completed 8,897 PCR tests yesterday, with a positivity rate of 6.9%. Still very high.

Additionally, there were 125,529 rapid (antigen) tests administered between December 17 and 23 — 8,848 at the pop-up sites; 116,681 through the workplace screening program; and 134,304 home tests that were distributed.

The testing protocols have changed. Now, if you test positive with a rapid (antigen) test, you no longer will follow that up with a PCR test. Instead, you are assumed to definitely have COVID, and you and your household are to self-isolate as required.

But take-home rapid testing kits are no longer widely available. They’re not at libraries, and the rapid testing sites aren’t giving them away.

Pop-up testing has been scheduled for the following sites (take-home tests are also available at these 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 province announced this morning that next week more pop-up testing sites will be established across the province, with details to be announced next week.

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


Potential exposure advisories

There were school-connected case notifications issued yesterday for 11 schools (as schools were closed to students last Friday — except Learning Centres — these are likely somewhat dated):
• Evangeline Middle School, New Minas
• Riverview Rural High School, Coxheath
• North Nova Education Centre, New Glasgow
• Truro Junior High School, Truro
• Brookside Junior High, Hatchet Lake
• Ellenvale Junior High, Dartmouth
• Joseph Giles Elementary, Dartmouth
• LeMarchant St Thomas Elementary, Halifax
• Madeline Symonds Middle School, Hammonds Plains
• Shannon Park Elementary, Dartmouth
• St. Andrews Consolidated School, St. Andrews

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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