N.S. reports 127 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday
N.S. announced more than 100 cases per day the last 5 days in a row
Nova Scotia reported 127 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the fifth day in a row the province has reported more than 100 cases per day.
Nova Scotia reported 42 cases in central zone, 68 cases in eastern zone, six cases in western zone, and 11 cases in northern zone.
On Monday, Premier Tim Houston and Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang announced the return of physical distancing and capacity restrictions as the province continues to battle an outbreak of COVID-19 at St. Francis Xavier University and the first confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the province.
Six people are in hospital, including two in ICU. There are no hospitalizations in the eastern zone, which includes St. FX University.
On Tuesday, Strang told CBC Radio's Information Morning that Ontario is calling a men's university rugby tournament held in Kingston, Ont., at the end of November a "super spreader event," and a team from Dalhousie attended the event. There could potentially be a link between the Kingston tournament and the St. FX outbreak.
"I think what people should understand is ... it was inevitable [Omicron] was going to be here one way or another. It's just unfortunate timing that we happen to have this highly transmissible virus in the province the same weekend there was lots of social activity and things at St. FX University," said Strang.
To date, there have been 344 positive cases linked to the St. FX outbreak, according to the provincial health department. Due to a backlog in entering case data into Panorama, the province's public health information system, it's unclear how many active cases are in the province.
There are no new cases reported Tuesday at Parkland Antigonish, a seniors' living community. Two residents and two staff members from the retirement home have already tested positive and one staff member from Mary's Court, a licensed long-term care neighbourhood, has tested positive.
No one is in hospital. All staff and residents are fully vaccinated, and all residents of Mary's Court have had a booster shot.
Maritime Junior Hockey League
The Maritime Junior Hockey League announced on Tuesday that it was informed of positive cases of COVID-19 involving the Pictou County Weeks Crushers.
A news release said this followed a player testing positive using a rapid test on Friday. According to the release, the affected players and staff are isolating as required by Public Health.
Three upcoming games have been cancelled as a result.
- Thursday, Dec. 6th - Valley at Pictou County
- Saturday, Dec.18th - Pictou County at Amherst
- Sunday, Dec.19th - Pictou County at Valley
Tighter restrictions take effect Friday at 9 a.m.
The province announced Monday that it would impose tighter restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. Recreation facilities, stores and malls, museums and libraries cannot run at maximum capacity unless physical distancing can be maintained.
Indoor and outdoor informal gatherings are limited to 20 people from the same household or a consistent social group. Physical distancing is not required, and masks are not required except in indoor public spaces.
Strang said the restrictions will be reassessed in January.
Strang said Friday that given the increase in cases and the high number of recent exposures, all close contacts of positive cases must now isolate until they receive a negative PCR test, regardless of vaccination status.
Previously, people who were fully vaccinated didn't have to isolate if they were exposed.
Andrew Heighton, COVID-19 director for the eastern zone, said his team has done 13,000 PCR tests since last Monday, Dec. 6.
He encourages people to book an appointment for testing since the weather may not be the best to stand outside and wait.
"There's lots of fear and anxiety, we're well aware of that, so we aren't turning anybody away at this point if they wanted asymptomatic tests … but we are trying to shift our focus on the rapid testing and antigen-based tests for those that need an asymptomatic," he told CBC's Information Morning Cape Breton.
Nova Scotia Health is also offering drop-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics at a number of locations across the province. Parents are asked to bring their child's health card and a piece of identification if they have it.
The province added several school exposures on Tuesday:
- Gaspereau Valley Elementary in Wolfville
- Horton High School in Wolfville
- Hammonds Plains Consolidated in Hammonds Plains
- Millwood High School in Middle Sackville
- École Beaubassin in Halifax, which is closed from Dec. 10 to Dec. 16 to prevent further spread of the virus
The province maintains a list of school exposures here.
Atlantic Canada case numbers
- New Brunswick reported two deaths and 109 new cases on Tuesday. The province has 1,051 active cases, with 44 people in hospital, including 14 in intensive care.
- Newfoundland and Labrador reported 15 new cases on Monday. The province has 23 active cases.
- Prince Edward Island reported three cases on Tuesday. The province has 36 active cases.
With files from CBC Radio's Information Morning