NOTE: The online COVID-19 dashboard will not be updated until Thursday, December 23.
Today, December 22, Nova Scotia is reporting one death related to COVID-19. A man in his 50s in Northern Zone has died.
“I am saddened to hear about the loss of another Nova Scotian, so close to what is supposed to be a joyful time of year. I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends grieving,” said Premier Tim Houston. “Now is not the time to let our guard down. This holiday season is different as we take steps to protect each other and contain the spread of this virus. Please keep gatherings small, slow down your activities and follow all the public health guidelines to keep our loved ones and communities safe.”
Nova Scotia is also reporting 537 new cases of COVID-19.
There are 434 cases in Central Zone, 36 cases in Eastern Zone, 44 cases in Northern Zone and 23 cases in Western Zone.
Due to delays with data entry into Panorama (public health’s case management system), the number of positive cases being released today are lab results, not Panorama results. This continues to better reflect the situation on the ground.
Because of a spike in testing and positive cases, public health is experiencing some delays in follow-up. Public health will try to contact anyone confirmed positive by the lab within 24 hours to provide information on required isolation and testing. All cases will be asked to contact their close contacts. This may be the only contact a positive case has with public health. Detailed follow-ups are being prioritized to support contact tracing in schools, long-term care, healthcare facilities, correctional facilities, shelters and other group settings.
All close contacts, including those who are fully vaccinated, now need to isolate for 72 hours after the exposure and then get a lab-based (PCR) test. Those who are fully vaccinated can stop isolating after receiving a negative lab test. Those not fully vaccinated must continue to isolate, following the instructions for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated, found at https://www.nshealth.ca/information-covid-19-close-contacts
It is important that anyone who tests positive with a rapid test self-isolates immediately and gets a PCR test, regardless of vaccination status. If the PCR test is negative, they can stop isolating if they have no symptoms and are fully vaccinated.
Further updates to Nova Scotia’s testing approach will be made soon. Information will be posted at: https://www.nshealth.ca/coronavirus
Hospitals, Long-term Care Facilities, Schools
The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is reporting an outbreak at Dartmouth General Hospital. Fewer than five patients have tested positive for COVID-19, and all patients are being closely monitored. Infection prevention and control measures are being put in place, and NSHA is currently testing all patients and staff identified as a close contact. NSHA will provide a further update when more information is available.
An additional patient has tested positive at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish. The total number of cases is still fewer than five. As a precaution, NSHA is testing identified close contacts, and other infection prevention and control measures are being put in place. Testing will be made available for all staff and doctors on site who want to get tested.
There are no new cases reported at the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre. There have been fewer than five patients test positive, and all patients are being closely monitored and other infection prevention and control measures are being put in place.
An additional resident at Parkstone Enhanced Care in Halifax has tested positive. A total of two residents and one staff member at the facility have tested positive. No one is in hospital. All staff and residents are fully vaccinated, and all eligible residents have had a booster shot. Public health is working with the facility to prevent further spread. Increased public health measures and restrictions are in place.
An additional resident at Parkland Antigonish, a seniors’ living community, has tested positive. A total of three residents and two staff members from the retirement home have tested positive. No one is in hospital. All staff and residents are fully vaccinated. Public health is working with the facility to prevent further spread. Increased public health measures and restrictions are in place.
There are no new cases linked to Ocean View Continuing Care Centre in Eastern Passage. A total of three staff members have tested positive. No one is in hospital. All staff and 97 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated. Eighty-six per cent of eligible residents have had a booster shot. Public health is working with the facility to prevent further spread. Increased public health measures and restrictions are in place.
On December 21, 11 schools were notified of an exposure(s) at their school. As always, all staff, parents and guardians are notified of exposures if a positive case (student, teacher or staff) was at the school while infectious. A list of schools with exposures is available online: https://backtoschool.ednet.ns.ca/school-exposures
Test, Hospitalization, Vaccination Data
On December 21, NSHA’s labs completed 7,816 tests.
Ten people are in hospital, including three in ICU.
As of December 21, 1,750,383 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 793,214 Nova Scotians have received their second dose, and 98,652 eligible Nova Scotians have received a third dose.
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
Information on provincewide restrictions that took effect today, December 22, and other public health measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 is available at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/restrictions-and-guidance/
More information on COVID-19 case data, testing and vaccines is available at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data/
More information about public health text notifications of positive COVID-19 cases and close contacts is available here: https://www.nshealth.ca/news/public-health-notifying-positive-covid-19-cases-text-advising-notify-close-contacts
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus or 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)