Nova Scotia

7 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Nova Scotia Saturday

Nova Scotia is reporting seven new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, including one more at a poultry plant in the Annapolis Valley where an outbreak has been declared. The province now has 61 active cases.

Number of active cases drops to 61

Nova Scotia reported seven new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Nova Scotia reported seven new cases of COVID-19 in the province Saturday.

The number of active cases has dropped to 61, down from 65 on Friday.

Three of the new cases are in the province's western health zone. Two are close contacts of another case and one is an employee at Eden Valley Poultry in Berwick, N.S., where the province recently declared an outbreak of COVID-19 after several employees tested positive for the virus.

Six of the employees at the plant have tested positive so far, according to the Nova Scotia Health Authority, and the latest case at the plant was announced on Friday, when the province declared an outbreak.

Two of Saturday's new cases are in the eastern zone and one case is in the northern zone. Those cases are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.

One case is in the central zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case.

No one is in hospital in Nova Scotia related to the virus.

"Lower case numbers are a good sign we're doing the right things, but we continue to have COVID-19 activity in the province," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, in the release. "While these results show our approach is working, they also tell us we need to continue to follow the public health measures that are in place."

Saturday evening, Nova Scotia Health issued potential exposure notices for two Air Canada flights. Anyone on the following flights is asked to continue to self-isolate and closely monitor for symptoms:

  • Air Canada Flight 144 travelling on Dec. 9 from Calgary (11:54 a.m.) to Toronto (5:22 p.m.) Passengers in rows 20-26, seats J, K and L are asked to continue to self-isolate and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Dec. 23.
  • Air Canada Flight 8210 travelling from Toronto (Dec 9. at 8:55 p.m.) to Sydney (Dec. 10 at 12:10 a.m.) Passengers in rows 22-27, seats D and F are asked to continue to self-isolate and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Dec. 24.

A full list of potential exposure locations can be found here.

Walk-in testing options in Annapolis, Kings counties

The province announced Saturday that there will be new walk-in testing options in Annapolis and Kings counties over the next few days in response to the outbreak at Eden Valley Poultry.

All employees at the facility have been tested and are self-isolating until they can be retested next week.

In a release, the Nova Scotia Health Authority said walk-in testing will be available for people who have no symptoms, are not a close contact of a person with COVID-19, and are not self-isolating because of travel outside of Atlantic Canada.

The walk-in testing will be available at two sites:

  • The Berwick Fire Hall (300 Commercial St., Berwick) on Sunday, Dec. 13 and Monday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The site will be closed between 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • The Mobile Unit at the Middleton Fire Hall (131 Commercial St., Middleton) on Monday, Dec. 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The release said the testing method will be a standard PCR test and people will not need to self-isolate if they are tested. It said anyone who gets a test at those locations should bring their health card.

As well, there is a pop-up rapid testing site at the Amelia Saputo Centre at St. Francis Xavier University from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Winter break extended

On Friday, Premier Stephen McNeil announced the province is extending the winter break for public school students "out of an abundance of caution" and to potentially minimize the spread of COVID-19.

McNeil said he is "concerned" with the amount of family gatherings that will be taking place and said the extra time will allow for a two-week period after Christmas Day.

Schools in the province will close on Dec. 18, rather than Dec. 22, and reopen to students on Jan. 11, instead of Jan. 4.

The announcement came the same day a second case of the virus was identified at Shannon Park Elementary School in Dartmouth. The first case was identified Tuesday.

Cases in the Atlantic provinces

The latest numbers from the Atlantic provinces are:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador reported three new cases Saturday and has 23 active cases.
  • New Brunswick reported one new case Saturday and has 72 active cases. Four people are hospitalized with three in intensive care. 
  • P.E.I. reported five new cases Saturday, all related to travel. The province has 17 active cases.