Another COVID-19 death brings total to 10 in Nova Scotia
The latest death happened at Northwood in Halifax, which is the 6th death at the facility
Nova Scotia reported another COVID-19 death Tuesday, bringing the total to 10.
The province said the death happened at the Northwood long-term care facility in Halifax.
Sixteen new cases were identified in testing on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the province to 737.
The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab in Halifax completed 516 Nova Scotia tests on Monday.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer, said the reason there were fewer tests conducted that day compared to recent days is because of the shooting tragedy over the weekend and because fewer tests were done at Northwood.
"We know that the events on Sunday, people getting tested for COVID was not on their minds," Strang said.
But Strang said if people are experiencing two or more COVID-19 symptoms, they should get tested.
He said it's possible that as flu season comes to a close, fewer people will have some of the symptoms that overlap with COVID-19.
Symptoms to look for
The province recently expanded the list of symptoms being screened for COVID-19. They are:
- New or worsening cough.
- Sore throat.
- Runny nose.
Anyone with two or more of those symptoms should visit 811's website for a self-assessment questionnaire to determine if 811 should be called for further assessment.
There are now 10 long-term care homes and seniors facilities with cases of the virus, involving 128 residents and 62 staff.
The facility most affected by COVID-19 is Northwood, where 112 residents and 40 staff members had tested positive as of Tuesday.
When it comes to controlling the spread of COVID-19, Strang said the virus was at Northwood before it could be detected with tests.
Strang said infection control practitioners are in Northwood to ensure all possible steps are taken to curb the spread of the virus.
As he discussed on Monday, Strang reiterated the need for people to grieve those who were killed over the weekend and the importance of mourning virtually.
Strang said funeral directors across the province are getting requests from families. He said funerals are allowed as long as they're limited to immediate family. There is a gathering limit of five people and physical distancing must be practised.
"We will find a time collectively when we're able to do it," Strang said.
Premier Stephen McNeil said the killings and the pandemic happening at the same time are causing a "great strain on families and communities."
"It's a heavy ask to ask these families who have been [through] such a devastating trauma to work with public health to ensure the virus doesn't spread," he said.
As of Tuesday, 11 people were in the hospital because of COVID-19, with three in intensive care. Confirmed cases range from ages under 10 to over 90.
To date, Nova Scotia has 22,190 negative test results and 286 people are considered recovered.
While talking about a prisoner at the Burnside jail who recently tested positive for COVID-19, Strang said there are "robust plans in place" to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in correctional facilities in Nova Scotia.
"The fact this individual was isolated from the very beginning is due in part to the protocols that were put in place related to COVID-19," Strang said.
He said one of the key ways to minimize the chance of an outbreak in correctional facilities is to reduce the number of offenders in a facility.
"We've decreased by more than half the number of offenders right now in our correctional facilities, which has allowed great spacing between offenders and is decreasing the risk of transmission," Strang said.
Hospital expansion still on track
The expansion of the Halifax Infirmary and the building of a new outpatient centre in the Bayers Lake Business Park are still on track.
McNeil said the infirmary expansion is an external project, which wouldn't have much impact on people inside the building, while the Bayers Lake project is new construction.
"Where we are seeing some challenge on all of our infrastructure on health care is stuff that is currently happening inside a physical facility, so some of those may be delayed based on COVID," McNeil said, but he didn't name any specific projects.