Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia reports no new COVID-19 cases for 3rd time in 5 days on Tuesday

No new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Nova Scotia after the QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 532 tests for the virus on Monday.

Northwood is the only long-term care facility that still has active cases of the virus

Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said people who have been tested for COVID-19 will now have the option to have their negative test results delivered by email. (CBC)

No new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Nova Scotia after the QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 532 tests for the virus on Monday.

In all 1,057 people in the province have tested positive for the virus, 992 individuals have recovered and 60 have died.

Five people are currently in hospital with COVID-19, and two of them are in intensive care.

The province said there is only one licensed long-term care home in Nova Scotia that still has active cases of COVID-19. Northwood's facility in Halifax has five active cases: three residents and two staff.

Fifty-three of the COVID-19 deaths in the province were at Northwood. 

Premier Stephen McNeil said he was impressed with the Take a Knee demonstration held in Halifax on Monday.

He said he was pleased to see so many people wearing masks, but "it would have been better if we had been able to self-distance."

Local activists including El Jones, centre, spoke to a crowd of demonstrators outside Park Lane Mall on Spring Garden Road in Halifax, June 1, 2020. Premier Stephen McNeil praised the demonstrators for their 'peaceful and respectful' protest. (Mark Crosby/CBC)

"You were respectful with one another, you were peaceful and you made your point clear," McNeil said.

"You were fed up and so we all should be. We've had our own issues of systemic racism in this province."

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said it's too early to comment on whether anyone was exposed to COVID-19 at the demonstration.

If there was, "we'll take further actions in terms of notifying people and maybe doing broad testing, but it's premature to make that judgment now," he said.

The press conference usually ends with a closing statement by McNeil, but he said he could only think of three words that needed to be said: "Black lives matter."

McNeil said a Maritime bubble, a plan that would allow travel within the region, is still being discussed, but there are no plans for one yet.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said any talk of a Maritime travel bubble will need to include Newfoundland and Labrador. (CBC)

"I think we're going to have to have conversations when that happens. What about the 14-day quarantines? What do we do with that? Right now, that's still in place," McNeil said.

But McNeil said at some point, the Maritimes will have to start allowing the mobility of its citizens for their health, to reunify families and help the tourism sector.

He said any plan moving forward would need to include Newfoundland and Labrador, making it an Atlantic Canada bubble.

Licensed child-care centres and family daycare homes will be able to open June 15.

The Nova Scotia Health Authority's COVID-19 map for June 2, 2020. (Nova Scotia Health Authority)

Licensed child-care centres will start at 50 per cent capacity, while family daycare homes be at full capacity. McNeil said daycares will communicate directly with families in the coming days about specific reopening plans.

"All types of facilities will be required to follow strict COVID-19 public health guidelines," McNeil said.

McNeil said government will provide personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer to licensed facilities for the next six months. He said families not ready to send their children back to daycare right away won't lose their spots and won't be charged extra.

Operators will continue to receive funding until September "to cover those unused spaces," McNeil said.

Negative test result email option

Strang said people who have been tested for COVID-19 will now have the option to have their negative test results delivered by email.

The option will be given to people with a Nova Scotia health card who were tested at a primary assessment site. Anybody registering there will be asked to provide an email address. Positive test results were be shared over the phone.

The calls incoming calls from public health will appear as an unknown number and Strang said many people tend to ignore those calls. He asked people to check their voicemail regularly.

"If you're waiting for a test result, please pay attention to your phone," Strang said.

The results are delivered within 48 to 72 hours. He said anyone who was tested should self-isolate while waiting to hear back about results.

Halifax Transit increasing service

Halifax Transit announced it would be increasing its service levels. 

Starting Wednesday, ferry capacity will increase from 25 passengers to 40 passengers. Passengers will be reminded to physically distance from one another and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

Effective Monday, June 8, the following service increase will go into effect for the Alderney ferry:

  • 30-minute service on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • 30-minute service on weekends from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There are no changes to the Woodside ferry schedule.

Additional trips may be added for bus routes to accommodate overloads in certain areas. Updates will be shared on Halifax Transit's website.

On Monday, June 22, bus capacity will increase to 84 per cent of normal capacity levels.

Updated symptoms list

The list of COVID-19 symptoms recently expanded. People with one or more of the following updated list of symptoms are asked to visit 811's website:

  • Fever (chills, sweats).
  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Headache.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Sneezing.
  • Nasal congestion/runny nose.
  • Hoarse voice.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Unusual fatigue.
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste.
  • Red, purple or bluish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers that do not have a clear cause