Nova Scotia

N.S. reports average of 493 new COVID-19 cases per day in latest update

Province also reporting 13 COVID-19 deaths and 42 people in hospital.

Province also reported 13 deaths in past week

A sticker on a bag of COVID-19 rapid take-home tests encourages people to 'test to protect.' (Frances Willick/CBC)

Nova Scotia reported 13 deaths and 42 people in hospital, including 13 in ICU, in its weekly COVID-19 update released Thursday. 

The province also reported a total of 3,453 positive PCR tests from March 16-22, an average of 493 new COVID-19 cases per day. This total does not include positive rapid tests.

Nova Scotia lifted nearly all COVID-19 restrictions on Monday. Some restrictions remain, including mandatory seven-day isolation for anyone who tests positive and continued mask-wearing at health-care facilities, jails and courts. Students also must still wear masks in school for a few more weeks.

"The data in this week's report is not unexpected," Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said in a news release.

"We continue to see the impact of the first and second phases of our reopening reflected in the increase in PCR positive tests. This is always our earliest indicator. We will be closely monitoring the impact on hospitalizations in the weeks ahead." 

According to CBC's tracking of COVID-19 deaths since the Omicron wave began, a total of 121 people have died of the virus since Dec. 8, 2021. There are currently 13 people in ICU in the province. 

So far during the Omicron wave, those who are unvaccinated or have received only one dose of vaccine are three times more likely to die of COVID-19 as compared to someone who has had two doses, and are six times more likely to die as someone who has received a booster dose. 

Unvaccinated Nova Scotians are about 5½ times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than someone with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. That figure is based on average hospitalization numbers released from the province from Jan. 4 to March 24.

Numbers from Nova Scotia Health, released regularly since January, show there is an increase in the number of staff off work due to COVID-19. On March 15, there were 81 staff off work in the Central Zone surrounding Halifax because they tested positive, were waiting test results or were exposed to a member of their household with COVID-19.

By March 21, that number had risen to 144. 

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