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Overview
Vaccination
Demographics
Testing
Potential exposure advisories

Two men in their 70s have died with COVID-19. Both lived in Nova Scotia Health’s Central Zone, and both were in hospital. They are the 75th and 76th COVID deaths in Nova Scotia.

Additionally, the province announced 84 new cases of COVID-19 today (Friday, May 21).

Of today’s cases, 66 are in Nova Scotia Health’s Central Zone, 11 are in the Eastern Zone, six are in the Northern Zone, and one is in the Western Zone.

There are now 1,028 known active cases in the province; 84 people are now in hospital with the disease, and 21 of those are in ICU; 197 more people are considered recovered today.

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.

Here are the daily new case numbers and the seven-day rolling averages (today at 89) for the current outbreak, dating from March 28, the last day Nova Scotia had zero new daily cases:

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 current outbreak:

And here is the active caseload from the start of the pandemic in March 2020, showing the primary associations of each of the major outbreaks:


Vaccination

Yesterday, a single-day record of 20,023 doses of vaccine were administered. At today’s COVID briefing, Premier Iain Rankin said that today would see another record day of vaccinations, and more than 75,000 doses will have been administered this week alone, with an even greater number expected next week.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said that there’s been “very high uptake” of vaccination among younger people; vaccination appointments for the 25- to 30-year-old age group were just opened yesterday.

Moreover, said Strang, the expected delivery of vaccine to Nova Scotia has been increased. “What it means is that we’re going to be closer, in general, to a three-month interval between first and second dose rather than a four month interval,” he said.

As of end of day yesterday, a total of 483,549 doses of vaccine have been administered, and 40,900 of those were second doses. Some time today or tomorrow, the half-millionth dose of vaccine will be administered in Nova Scotia.

This pie chart shows the percentages of the total population that has received one and two doses:

And this graph shows the increase in numbers of people receiving the first and second dose of vaccine each week (as recorded on Fridays); the yellow line represents 75% of the entire population:

Vaccination appointment booking is open for all people 25 years old or older; you can book a vaccination appointment here.

The expectation is that everyone over 12 will be able to book an appointment by the end of the month, with all first doses actually administered by the end of June.

People in rural areas who need transportation to a vaccine clinic 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

Here is how today’s 84 new cases break down by age cohort:
• 16 aged 19 or younger (10 girls or women, 6 boys or men)
• 35 aged 20-39 (20 women, 15 men)
• 16 aged 40-59 (9 women, 7 men)
• 13 aged 60-79 (7 women, 6 men)
• 4 aged 80 or over (2 women, 2 men)

This graph shows the number of daily cases in each age cohort since April 17:

This graph shows the percentage of daily positive cases by age cohort, since April 17:

I’ve been watching (on TV) and reading (on social media) a lot of accusations about young people in Sydney ignoring Public Health protocols, so I’ve started collecting the age cohorts for the Eastern Zone to assess the situation myself. Today, the 11 new cases fell into these age cohorts:

0-19: 3
20-39: 2
40-59: 4
60-79: 1
80+: 1

Unfortunately, I hadn’t collected the data before today, but reader Robert McMillan had, and shared those with me. The data show that since May 1, there have been 238 new cases in the Eastern Zone, and those cases fall into the following age cohorts:

0-19:  41 (17.2%)
20-39: 114 (47.9%)
40-59: 56 (23.5%)
60-79: 27 (11.3%)
80+: 0

That’s almost exactly the breakdown for the province as a whole, meaning about the same as in Halifax.

I would point out that the 20-39 age group is also highly represented among essential workers in workplaces for which distancing is difficult and contact with customers and clients is high.

This doesn’t strike me as a “those damn kids are partying” thing, and that characterization seems a bit unfair.

In any event, the active cases across the province are distributed as follows:

• 307 in the Halifax Peninsula/Chebucto Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 238 in the Dartmouth/Southeastern Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 107 in the Bedford/Sackville Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 20 in the Eastern Shore/Musquodoboit Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 3 in the West Hants Community Health Network in the Central Zone
• 130 in the Cape Breton Community Health Network in the Eastern Zone
• 2 in the Inverness, Victoria & Richmond Community Health Network in the Eastern Zone
• 0 in the Antigonish & Guysborough Community Health Network in the Eastern Zone
• 36 in the Colchester/East Hants Community Health Network in the Northern Zone
• 6 in the Pictou Community Health Network in the Northern Zone
• 9 in the Cumberland Community Health Network in the Northern Zone
• 21 in the Annapolis and Kings Community Health Network in the Western Zone
• 18 in the Lunenburg & Queens Community Health Network in the Western Zone
• 1 in the Yarmouth, Shelburne & Digby Community Health Network in the Western Zone

Note: 129 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 7,041 PCR tests yesterday. Additionally, 27,953 tests were administered between May 14 and May 20 at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Sydney, Dartmouth, Halifax, Bridgewater, New Minas, and Kingston.

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:

Friday
Halifax Central Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
Central Spryfield Elementary School, noon-7pm
Alderney Gate Public Library, noon-7pm
John Martin School (Dartmouth), noon-7pm
Sackville Sports Stadium, noon-7pm
Centre 200 (Sydney), 3-7pm

Saturday
Alderney Gate Public Library, noon-7pm
John Martin School (Dartmouth), noon-7pm
Halifax Central Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
Rockingstone Heights School, noon-7pm
Sackville Sports Stadium, noon-7pm
Centre 200 (Sydney), 11am-4pm
Brooklyn Civic Centre (Newport), noon-7pm

Sunday
Alderney Gate Public Library, noon-7pm
John Martin School (Dartmouth), noon-7pm
Halifax Central Library, noon-7pm
Halifax Convention Centre, noon-7pm
Rockingstone Heights School, noon-7pm
Sackville Sports Stadium, noon-7pm
Centre 200 (Sydney), 11am-4pm
Brooklyn Civic Centre (Newport), noon-7pm

Monday
Rockingstone Heights School, noon-7pm
Shannon Park School, noon-7pm

Tuesday
Shannon Park School, noon-7pm

Wednesday
Shannon Park School, noon-7pm

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

Public Health Mobile Units are available only for pre-booked appointments for PCR tests for people of all ages (results within three days). There are currently no mobile units scheduled.

You can also get PCR testing at the Nova Scotia Health labs by going here or here. Appointments can be made for the IWK, or for various locations listed below in each of 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
Lloyd E. Matheson Centre (Elmsdale)
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) — moving to Amherst Stadium on Monday
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)


Potential exposure advisories

Public Health only issues potential exposure advisories when they think they may not have been able to contact all close contacts at that locale. The large majority of potential exposure sites never make it onto a public advisory.

Potential COVID exposure advisories were issued last night for 12 sites (including a vaccination clinic), six bus routes, and one flight:

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 symptoms. You can also call 811 if you don’t have online access, or if you have other symptoms that concern you.
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, as are the other members of your household.
Meltwich Food Co. (325 Prince Street, Sydney) on May 15 between 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 29.

McDonalds (417 Welton Street, Sydney) on:

  • May 13 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • May 15 between 6:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • CORRECTION to time* May 15 between 3:30 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. (May 16)
It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 30.
• McDonalds (3486 Kempt Road, Halifax) on May 15 between 4:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 29.
• Costco (230 Chain Lake Drive, Halifax) on May 16 between 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 30.
• Kent Building Supplies (225 Chain Lake Drive, Halifax) on May 16 between 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 30.
• Home Depot (368 Lacewood Drive, Halifax) on May 17 between 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 31.
• Walmart (Dartmouth Crossing, 90 Lamont Terrace, Dartmouth) on May 12 between 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 26.
• Giant Tiger (114 Woodlawn Road, Dartmouth) on May 16 between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 30.
• No Frills (118 Wyse Road, Dartmouth) on May 16 between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 30.
• Loblaws Pharmacy Vaccine Clinic, Atlantic Superstore (745 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville) on May 12 between 2:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 26.
• CORRECTION to time* Atlantic Superstore (745 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville) on May 12 between 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 26.

• Halifax Stanfield International Airport – from Domestic Check-in to Security (747 Bell Boulevard, Goffs) on May 16 between 2:15 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 30.

Regardless of whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms, any passengers who were on the following transit routes for at least 15 minutes 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.

• Halifax Transit Route #90 (Larry Uteck), which runs from Water Street Terminal to the corner of Gary Martin Drive and Hammonds Plains Road, on May 16 between 3:00 p.m. and 3:35 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 30.
• Halifax Transit Route #90 (Larry Uteck), which runs from the corner of Gary Martin Drive and Hammonds Plains Road to Water Street Terminal, on May 16 between 10:55 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 30.
• Halifax Transit Route #90 (Larry Uteck), which runs from Water Street Terminal to the corner of Gary Martin Drive and Hammonds Plains Road, on May 17 between 3:00 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 31.
• Halifax Transit Route #90 (Larry Uteck), which runs from the corner of Gary Martin Drive and Hammonds Plains Road to Water Street Terminal, on May 17 between 10:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 31.
• Halifax Transit Route #90 (Larry Uteck), which runs from Water Street Terminal to the corner of Gary Martin Drive and Hammonds Plains Road, on May 18 between 3:00 p.m. and 3:35 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, June 1.

• Halifax Transit Route #4 (Universities), which runs from the corner of Lemarchant Street and University Avenue to Lacewood Terminal, on May 18 between 7:45 a.m. and 8:10 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, June 1.

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. All other passengers on these flights should continue to self-isolate as required and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

• Air Canada 604 travelling on May 15 from Toronto (8:15 a.m.) to Halifax (11:15 a.m.). Passengers in rows 18 – 24, seats A, C and D. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on this flight on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, May 29.

I’ve collected all the active advisories for potential COVID exposures on bus routes and flights here.

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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