Nova Scotia

Strang urges caution before Easter weekend as N.S. reports daily average of 1,152 cases

Province also reporting 14 COVID-19 deaths from April 6 to April 11.

Province also reporting 14 COVID-19 deaths from April 6 to April 11

Nova Scotians have access to at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits through libraries, MLA offices and other locations. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Nova Scotia is reporting a daily average of 1,152 COVID-19 cases, a new high since the pandemic began according to the latest weekly statistics released by the provincial health department.

Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, started the weekly briefing by urging Nova Scotians to be cautious this holiday weekend.

"It's critically important that people still remember to follow the COVID safety protocols and gather in a safe manner," he said. 

In its weekly report, the province said for the six-day period ending April 11, there were 14 COVID-19 deaths in the province and 72 people admitted to hospital due to the virus. 

Watch the full briefing:

The median age of COVID-19 reported deaths since the Omicron wave began on Dec. 8, 2021 is 80, the province reported. 

Strang says there are some positives to take away from this week's report.

"If you look at our overall number of cases, we have a lower percentage of people who are getting severely ill or dying than in any previous wave," he said. 

"That speaks to the third point about the critically important role that vaccine is playing in protecting us and minimizing severe disease."

Vaccine uptake

The province's top doctor also called on Nova Scotia who have not been vaccinated to go get a shot. 

"I urge you to do that now," Strang said.

According to the province, 7.6 per cent of Nova Scotians are unvaccinated and 4.8 per cent who have only received one dose of the vaccine.

As of April 14, 64.2 per cent of Nova Scotians 18 and older have received a third booster dose. The province says details are coming for when people 70 and over will be able to make an appointment to receive a fourth booster dose. 

Premier Tim Houston said the government is concerned about the low uptake of booster shots among Nova Scotians.

"They work, they're effective and we want to encourage people to take it. So we'll go back and look and see what we can do more to encourage uptake."

Liberal Leader Iain Rankin told reporters he'd like to see the government use a public awareness campaign similar to the one encouraging people to go out and patronize local businesses.

Houston said he's "happy to look at" ramping up the message that people should get their booster shots.

Vaccination low among kids 5-11

The levels of immunization among school-aged children are some of the lowest in any age group in Nova Scotia.

First dose coverage for five- to 11-year-olds is 74 per cent and second dose coverage is 47 per cent.

"What we're seeing in Nova Scotia is common to what is happening across the country," said Dr. Shelley Deeks, deputy chief medical officer of health.

"We expected that from the surveys that were done before the vaccine was licensed in this age group. They indicated that there were more parents who were hesitant to give their children of this age group a vaccine. So, we still have a ways to go to increase coverage in that age group."

With files from Michael Gorman and Frances Willick

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