Nova Scotia is reporting 3,118 new lab-confirmed cases, 65 hospitalizations and 18 deaths due to COVID-19 in the seven-day period ending May 9. The number of new infections has continued to decline since the peak of the current wave in April, and severe outcomes continue to decline as well.
“We’re seeing virus activity continue to slow down in Nova Scotia and that’s great news, but the number of hospitalizations and deaths remains high – and that’s important to keep in mind even as we make our way out of the sixth wave,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia. “The late-spring surge in other respiratory viruses happening across the country right now – including in Nova Scotia – is all the more reason to keep our guard up.”
The number of COVID-19 cases linked to long-term care and residential care facilities is down this week. There have been more cases in long-term care during the Omicron waves – the fifth and sixth waves of the pandemic – than in prior waves and more than twice as many to date in the current wave compared to the fifth. Of those cases, the number of hospitalizations and deaths remains very low because of the protection provided by vaccines.
Data in this week’s epidemiologic report shows the association between age and severe outcomes. The risk of hospitalization is about 10 times higher for those aged 70 years and older compared to those 18 to 49, and the risk of death is more than 100 times higher compared to those under 50.
Staying up to date with vaccines – getting all the doses and boosters available, based on people’s age and health status – continues to offer significant protection against severe outcomes. Having at least one booster dose reduces the risk of hospitalization by more than 84 per cent and the risk of death by more than 92 per cent compared to those who are unvaccinated or have only one dose. Those who are unvaccinated or have only one dose of vaccine have over 13 times the rate of death compared to those with at least three doses.
The weekly COVID-19 epidemiologic summary is prepared for the Chief Medical Officer of Health and his team to inform the province’s response to the pandemic. It tracks weekly trends and is focused on monitoring for severe outcomes in key populations. The full report is available here: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/alerts-notices/#epidemiologic-summaries
For the seven-day period ending May 9:
- there were 3,118 new PCR-confirmed cases
- there were 65 new hospitalizations due to COVID-19
- there were 18 COVID-19 deaths reported in Panorama, public health’s disease information system.
Since the start of the fifth wave (December 8, 2021):
- the median age of PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19 is 42
- the median age of hospitalizations is 71
- the median age of reported deaths is 81.
As of May 12, 65.2 per cent of Nova Scotians 18 and older have received a booster dose and 41,584 people have received a fourth dose of vaccine.
As recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), second booster doses are available to residents of long-term and residential care facilities, adults 70 and over living in the community, and members of First Nations communities 55 and older in Nova Scotia.
Public health reports on adverse events following immunization with the COVID-19 vaccine in the province. These reports will now be released quarterly. The next report will be published in July and will cover the three-month period between April 1 and June 30. Past reports are available here: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/alerts-notices/#adverse-events-following-immunization
Flu and Other Respiratory Viruses
There has also been an increase in flu infections even as the end of the traditional flu season approaches.
For the week ending May 7, there were 32 new lab-confirmed cases of influenza A reported in the province, and more than 60 per cent of those were in children 19 and under. These 32 new cases represent more than a quarter of all reported influenza infections during the 2021-2022 flu season.
The weekly Respiratory Watch report, which includes new cases of influenza, is available at: https://novascotia.ca/dhw/CDPC/respiratory-watch.asp
- the sixth wave of the pandemic started March 1
COVID-19 dashboard (updated weekly until the end of May): https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/204d6ed723244dfbb763ca3f913c5cad
Book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment: https://novascotia.flow.canimmunize.ca/en/9874123-19-7418965
For information on testing, including where to get a rapid testing kit: https://www.nshealth.ca/coronavirustesting