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There is a COVID-19 outbreak at the Eden Valley poultry plant in Berwick. A total of four plant workers have tested positive for the disease, said Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health. The plant has been ordered closed for two weeks.

Strang said the virus was introduced into the plant by two workers who were close contacts with someone who had travelled outside the province. He said that there is so far no evidence of community spread in the valley, but in response to the outbreak, mobile testing sites will be moved to the valley, and he encouraged asymptomatic people to arrange for testing.

Also today, Strang and Premier Stephen McNeil announced that the Christmas break for schools will be extended. Schools will now close at the end of the school day on Dec. 18 and reopen to students on Jan. 11. This will provide a two-week window after Christmas day such that any students who contract the disease will be identified before returning to school.

School staff will return to work on Jan. 4 for “five days of professional learning,” according to a media release. “Principals, teachers, support staff, specialists and early childhood educators will be in school for professional development, learning on behalf of their students in areas such as inclusive education, social emotional learning and technology.”

Nine new cases of COVID-19 are announced in Nova Scotia today (Friday).

Three cases are in Nova Scotia Health’s Western Zone — two of the cases are close contacts of previously reported cases, and the third is under investigation. These are presumably cases connected to Eden Valley.

There is one case is in the Northern Zone, and it is under investigation.

Five of the cases are in the Central Zone — two are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada, one is a close contact of a previously reported case, and one case is under investigation. Also, there is a case connected to Shannon Park Elementary in Dartmouth; this is the second case connected to that school.

Strang said the two cases connected to the school are not close contacts with each other. The school will remain closed until Dec. 16.

There are now 65 known active cases in the province. No one is currently in hospital with the disease.

Nova Scotia Health labs conducted 1,859 tests yesterday. The rapid-testing pop-up testing sites in Halifax, Wofville, Bedford, and Truro conducted 1,330 between Dec. 4 and Dec. 10.

Here are the new daily cases and seven-day rolling average since the start of the second wave (Oct. 1):

And here is the active caseload for the second wave:

Here is the possible exposure map; there have been no changes since this morning:


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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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