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Overview
Vaccination
Testing

There are now now 59 people in hospital who were admitted because of COVID symptoms, seven of whom are in ICU. Additionally, there are:
• 46 people admitted to hospital for other reasons but who tested positive for COVID during the admissions screening or who were admitted for COVID but no longer require specialized care
• 102 people in hospital who contracted COVID in the hospital outbreaks

The 59 who were admitted because of COVID range in age from 0 (there is a child under 5 in hospital) to 100 years old, and the average age is 66. The average stay is six days.

The vaccination status of the 59 hospitalized is:
• 7 (11.9%) have had 3 doses
• 31 (52.5%) have had 2 doses but not 3
• 3 (5.1%) have had 1 dose
• 18 (30.5%) are unvaccinated
Note that less than 10% of the population is unvaccinated.

Additionally, the province announced 542 new cases of COVID-19 today. The new cases are people who received a positive PCR test result from a Nova Scotia Health lab; this does not include people who tested positive using a take-home rapid (antigen) test.

By Nova Scotia Health zone, the new cases break down as:
• 271 Central
• 130 Eastern
• 42 Northern
• 99 Western

Hospital outbreaks

There are three new hospital outbreaks:
• Northside General Hospital in North Sydney (this is the fourth ward at the hospital with an outbreak)
• two separate wards at Colchester East Hants Health Centre
There are fewer than 10 patients testing positive at each site.

Additionally, there are new cases at 6 ongoing hospital outbreaks:
• Dartmouth General — 1 new case, for a total of fewer than 5
• New Waterford Consolidated — 1 new case, for a total of fewer than 10
• New Waterford Consolidated (a 2nd ward) — 1 new case, for a total of 15
• Northside General — 1 new case, for a total of 11
• Northside General (a 2nd ward) — 1 new case, for a total of fewer than 10
• Northside General (a 3rd ward) — 1 new case, for a total of fewer than 5


Vaccination

Yesterday, 18,096 doses of vaccine were administered. The number of doses in each vaccine category (first, second, third) is no longer being reported,

According to the Deptartment of Health, by end of day yesterday, 90.3% of the entire population have received at least one dose of vaccine:
• 7.3% with 1 dose only
• 58.2% with 2 doses but not 3
• 24.8% with 3 doses
• 9.7% unvaccinated

Appointments for boosters are now open to people 30 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.

There are many drop-in Pfizer vaccine clinics scheduled, starting next week, several for kids five years old and older.

Additionally, the province has scheduled several appointment-based vaccination clinics for booster shots, as follows:

New community clinics will offer vaccine by appointment starting:

  • Thursday, January 6, at the Halifax Forum
  • Monday, January 10, at the Acadia Festival Theatre in Wolfville
  • Monday, January 17, at Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth
  • Monday, January 24, at the Nova Scotia Community College campus in Truro.

Some existing COVID-19 testing centres will also offer vaccine by appointment. The following centres will start vaccinations on Monday, January 10:

  • Rath Eastlink Community Centre, Truro
  • Pictou County Assessment Centre, New Glasgow
  • Cumberland County Assessment Centre, Amherst
  • Antigonish Market Square, Antigonish
  • Grand Lake Road Fire Hall, Sydney
  • Berwick Fire Hall, Berwick
  • Mariners Centre, Yarmouth.

The Digby Station testing centre will offer vaccine by appointment starting Monday, January 24.


Testing

Yesterday, Nova Scotia Health labs completed 4,436 PCR tests, with a positivity rate of 12.2%.

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.

Pop-up testing has been scheduled for the following sites:

Thursday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
Annapolis Royal Legion, 11am-3pm
Enfield Fire Hall, 11am-3pm
Port Hood Fire Hall, 11am-3pm

Friday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
Chester Basin Fire Dept., 11am-3pm
Pictou Legion, 11am-3pm
Cheticamp Seniors Hall, 11am-3pm

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

Sunday
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-4pm

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


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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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