Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Jump to sections in this article:
Overview
Gathering limit violation
Demographics
Testing
Vaccination
Schools
Potential exposure advisories

One-hundred-and-forty-eight new cases of COVID-19 are announced in Nova Scotia today (Saturday, May 1).

Today’s large number likely reflects the health labs catching up on the backlog of tests (that is, the daily new case numbers would have been larger in recent days and likely smaller today had the backlog not occurred). “We’re making progress with the lab and data-entry backlog but we will continue to see high case numbers for a few days,” said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang in a press release.

Of the new cases, 129 are in Nova Scotia Health’s Central Zone, 17 are in the Eastern Zone, and two are in the Western Zone.

Two of the new cases are residents of the Clarmar Residential Care Facility, a nursing home in Dartmouth, and are linked to a previous case at the facility. A third case is a staff member at the Shoreham Village nursing home in Chester.

Because the numbers are so large, Public Health is no longer able to provide the cause of cases (i.e., travel related, close contacts, etc.) by the time the release comes out.

There are now 713 known active cases in the province. Thirty people are in hospital with the disease, and five of those are in ICU.

Here are the daily new case numbers and seven-day rolling averages (today at 83.6) since the start of the second wave (Oct. 1):

Here’s the graph of daily new case numbers from the start of the pandemic in March 2020:

Here is the active caseload for the second wave:

And here is the active caseload from the start of the pandemic in March 2020:


Gathering limit violation

Last night at midnight, Halifax police busted a “loud party” on Parker Street, and ticketed 10 people for violating the Health Protection Act.


Demographics

Today’s reported 148 cases are in the following demographics:
• 37 aged 19 or younger (12 girls or women, 25 boys or men)
• 66 aged 20-39 (34 women, 32 men)
• 32 aged 40-59 (23 women, 9 men)
• 12 aged 60-79 (8 women, 4 men)
• 1 aged 80 or over (a man)

The active cases are distributed as follows:

• 206 in the Halifax Peninsula/Chebucto Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 275 in the Dartmouth/Southeastern Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 44 in the Bedford/Sackville Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 19 in the Eastern Shore/Musquodoboit Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 4 is in the West Hants Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 47 in the Cape Breton Community Health Network in the Eastern Zone
• 11 in the Inverness, Victoria & Richmond Community Health Network in the Eastern Zone
• 1 in the Antigonish & Guysborough Community Health Network in the Eastern Zone
• 10 in the Colchester/East Hants Community Health Network in the Northern Zone
• 7 in the Pictou Community Health Network in the Northern Zone
• 7 in the Annapolis and Kings Community Health Network in the Western Zone
• 6 in the Lunenburg & Queens Community Health Network in the Western Zone
• 5 in the Yarmouth, Shelburne & Digby Community Health Network in the Western Zone

Seventy-one cases are not assigned to a Community Health Network, but they are in the Central Zone.


Testing

Photo: Nova Scotia Health

Nova Scotia Health labs completed 16,578 tests yesterday, which is a one-day record. This figure does not include the tests taken at the various pop-up testing sites.

For the next few days, the only people who should be booking PCR tests are the following:

  • anyone with symptoms
  • anyone who has been notified that they are a close contact of a known case
  • anyone who has been at an exposure location
  • anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

If people who are not in the above categories have a PCR test booked, they should cancel it (yesterday’s advice that they merely not show up has been withdrawn). Everyone not in those categories should instead go to a rapid-testing pop-up site.

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:

Saturday
Cineplex Bridgewater, noon-7pm
Centre 200, 481 George St, Sydney, 110m-4pm
East Dartmouth Community Centre, 9:30am-4:30pm
Alderney Gate Public Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm

Sunday
Alderney Gate Public Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Central Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
Cineplex Bridgewater, noon-6pm
John Martin School (Dartmouth), noon-6pm
Centre 200, 481 George St, Sydney, noon-4pm

Monday
John Martin School (Dartmouth), noon-7pm
Cineplex Bridgewater, 1-6pm

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

Those who fall into the categories that require PCR testing can get tests at  the Public Health Mobile Units or the Nova Scotia Health labs.

Public Health Mobile Units are available only for pre-booked appointments for PCR tests for people of all ages (results within three days). The units have the following schedule:

Knights of Columbus (3236 Plummer Ave., New Waterford)
Monday, 10am-6pm
Tuesday, 10am-6pm

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 the health zones (appointments may not be available at each site):

Central Zone
Bayers Lake (41 Washmill Lake Drive)
Burnside/Dartmouth Crossing (77 Finnian Row)
Canada Games Centre
Dartmouth General Hospital Drive-Thru (No Taxis)
Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital
Mayflower Curling Club
Musquodoboit Valley Memorial Hospital
Saint Mary’s University (Homburg Centre)
Twin Oaks Memorial Hospital (Musquodoboit Harbour)
Zatzman Sportsplex

Northern Zone
Colchester Legion Stadium (14 Lorne Street, Truro)
Truro (625 Abenaki Road, with drive-thru at 600 Abenaki Road)
Truro Farmers Market Drive-Thru testing
Amherst (34 Prince Arthur Street)
Pictou County Assessment Center (678 East River Rd, New Glasgow)

Eastern Zone
Antigonish Market Square
Buchanan Memorial Community Health Centre (Neils Harbour)
Eastern Memorial Hospital (Canso)
Grand Lake Road Fire Hall (Sydney)
Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital
Membertou Entertainment Centre
Northside General Hospital (North Sydney)
Sacred Heart Community Health Centre (Cheticamp)
Strait Richmond Hospital (Evanston)
Victoria County Memorial Hosptial (Baddeck)

Western Zone
Acadia Festival Theatre
Acadia University Club
Berwick Firehall
Digby Station (7 Birch Street)
Liverpool PAC (157 School Street)
Roseway Hospital (Shelburne)
South Shore Assessment Centre (215 Dominion Road, Bridgewater)
Yarmouth Mariners Centre
Yarmouth Visitor Information Centre (228 Main Street)


Vaccination

Vaccination figures are not provided on the weekend.

People who are 55 or over can book an appointment for any of the vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca; and people who are from 40-54 can also book an appointment for the AstraZeneca. You can book an appointment here.


Schools

I’ve added school-connected COVID cases that I’m aware of to the potential exposure advisories map (see below).

The current status of schools:

All schools in the province are closed until May 12.


Potential exposure advisories

Last night, Public Health issued the following list of potential COVID exposure advisories (the release also contained a couple of corrections from previous releases; I’ve updated the potential exposure map to reflect those corrections):

Anyone who worked at or visited the following locations on the specified dates and times should visit covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. You can also call 811 if you don’t have online access or if you have other symptoms that concern you.

For the following locations, if you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 you do not need to self-isolate while you wait for your test result. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you are required to self-isolate while you wait for your test result.

  • Staples (36 Market Street, Antigonish) on April 26 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 10.

Regardless of whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms, those present at the following locations on the named dates and times are required to self-isolate while waiting for their test result. If you get a negative result, you do not need to keep self-isolating. If you get a positive result, you will be contacted by Public Health about what to do next.

  • *CORRECTION to location* YMCA Gottingen Street [not Port Hawkesbury] (2269 Gottingen St, Halifax) from April 19-23 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 7.
  • Halifax Transit routes:
    • *CORRECTION* Route 29 travelling from Point Pleasant Park [not Mumford Rd] to Barrington St. on April 22 between 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 6.
    • Route 53 travelling from Leaman Drive to Bridge Terminal and Route 61 from Bridge Terminal to Alderney Landing Terminal on April 28 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 12.
    • Route 61 travelling from Alderney Landing Terminal to Bridge Terminal and Route 53 from Bridge Terminal to Leaman Drive on April 28 between between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 12.

Regardless of whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms, those present at the following location on the named date and times are required to self-isolate, get tested and continue self-isolating for 14 days, even with a negative test result.

  • Fit for Less Dartmouth (650 Portland Street, Dartmouth) from April 18-24 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 8.

Anyone who was on the following flights in the specified rows and seats should visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. You can also call 811 if you don’t have online access or if you have other symptoms that concern you.

  • Air Canada 8782 travelling on April 25 from Montreal (7:00 p.m.) to Halifax (9:45 p.m.). Passengers in rows 13-19, seats C, D and F are asked to immediately visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. All other passengers on this flight should continue to self-isolate as required and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on this flight on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 9.
  • West Jet 3346 travelling on April 25 from Toronto (9:00 a.m.) to Halifax (12:15 p.m.). Passengers in rows 1-5, seats B, C and D are asked to immediately visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. All other passengers on this flight should continue to self-isolate as required and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on this flight on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 9.
  • West Jet 3346 travelling on April 26 from Toronto (9:00 a.m.) to Halifax (12:15 p.m.). Passengers in rows 1-7, seats B, C and D are asked to immediately visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. All other passengers on this flight should continue to self-isolate as required and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on this flight on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 10.

The updated potential COVID exposure advisory map is below; you can click on the icons to get information about each site. I’ve also added school-connected cases to the map. Note: in HRM, potential exposure sites that are considered low-risk for transmission are no longer subject to advisories; that’s because everyone in HRM is encouraged to get tested, whether they were at a potential exposure site or not.


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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. ARE WE GETTING THE SECOND SHOT TOO LATE TO BE EFFECTIVE ?
    Today the top story on CNN is an article with a link to the CDC timeline on second shot – up to 42 days after first. Most Nova Scotians are receiving 2nd Pfizer shot 104 days after first. What does Dr Strang say about this??

    “The second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible, but not earlier than recommended (i.e., 3 weeks [Pfizer-BioNTech] or 1 month [Moderna]). However, second doses administered within a grace period of 4 days earlier than the recommended date for the second dose are still considered valid. If it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval and a delay in vaccination is unavoidable,***** the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be administered up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. ****Currently, only limited data are available on efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered beyond this window.”

    https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

  2. Thanks, as always, for the update and all the details.

    These numbers are pretty scary.

  3. The website says 25 in hospital. The press release says 30. do we know for sure which is right?