Nova Scotia

N.S. reports 5 COVID-19 deaths, daily average of 223 positive PCR tests in weekly update

Province says parents will be able to book vaccinations for children under five starting in August, using newly approved Moderna vaccine.

Province says parents will be able to book vaccinations for children under 5 starting in August

A rapid COVID-19 test displays a positive result.
There were a total of 1,562 positive PCR tests, a slight decrease from 1,749 last week. That number does not include positive rapid test results, pictured. (CBC)

Nova Scotia is reporting five COVID-19 deaths in the past week and a daily average of 223 lab-confirmed cases in its latest update to the provincial dashboard.

The figures are from a seven-day period from July 5 to July 11.

There were a total of 1,562 positive PCR tests, a slight decrease from 1,749 last week. That number does not include positive rapid test results.

Since March 2020, there have been 456 COVID-19 deaths in Nova Scotia. About three-quarters of those deaths happened during the Omicron wave, which began Dec. 8, 2021.

Nova Scotia Health says as of Thursday, 25 people are in hospital due to COVID-19, with six in intensive care. 

Another 132 people currently have COVID-19 but are in hospital for another reason, according to the health authority. A further 41 people contracted COVID-19 after being admitted to hospital.

The province is no longer releasing weekly COVID-19 reports with details such as age ranges of those who have died or COVID-19 cases in long-term or residential care. Starting this week, those reports will be issued on a monthly basis. 

The province continues to issue weekly respiratory disease reports, as it has for many years. Those reports detail the levels of flu and other respiratory diseases, but do not include details on COVID-19 activity.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Lisa Barrett said we're in a stage where COVID-19 is around and getting higher in terms of the amounts of virus. She said people should start thinking about getting the right dose of vaccine at the right time.

"Right now we're outside, hopefully people can still use masks, testing, better ventilation and staying home when they're sick to avoid the worst situations with COVID and then wait until the early fall for a fourth dose unless they have another reason to get their dose early," Barrett said.

Health-care workers off due to COVID-19 rising

The total number of Nova Scotia Health staff off sick or isolating due to COVID-19 is at a seven-week high. There are 352 health-care employees off work across the province, up approximately 55 per cent from two weeks ago.

While the central zone and IWK saw a slight decrease in number of staff off work from last week, all other parts of the province saw an increase.

Vaccines approved for children under 5

On Thursday, Health Canada approved Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for infants and preschoolers.

Health Canada now says the Moderna vaccine can be given to young children between the ages of six months and five years in doses one-quarter the size of those approved for adults.

Moderna's product is the first COVID-19 vaccine approved for children under five in Canada.

"We know that many parents of young children have been anticipating this day for quite some time, and we are pleased to see that there's such a great interest to get some of the youngest Nova Scotians vaccinated," said Dr. Shelley Deeks, Nova Scotia's deputy chief medical officer of health in a statement.

"While most children in this age group have relatively mild disease, some do experience severe illness, especially those with underlying medical conditions."

The province said initial supply of the vaccine for children in this age group will be limited, but more appointments will be added once shipments from the federal government arrive. There are about 34,000 children aged six months to four years old in Nova Scotia, according to the province.

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