Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia reports 2 COVID-19 related deaths Thursday

Nova Scotia reported 66 people in designated COVID-19 hospital units on Thursday, including 11 in ICU.

There are 66 people in designated COVID-19 hospital units, including 11 in the ICU

Unvaccinated Nova Scotians are more than five times more likely to be hospitalized or die due to COVID-19 than someone with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. That is based on average hospitalizations since the province started releasing daily hospitalization numbers by vaccine status on Jan. 4. (Mark Lennihan/The Associated Press)

Nova Scotia reported two COVID-19 deaths on Thursday and 66 people in designated COVID-19 hospital units, including 11 in ICU.

The deaths were two men in the eastern zone, one in his 50s and one in his 70s.

The province said data on the deaths came from Panorama, Public Health's disease information system. In a news release, it said the deaths were added to Panorama only after they were identified to be related to COVID-19, "which can take days and weeks to report."

"Data on deaths is reflective of virus activity in the past, at the point of infection, and not the situation today, at the point of reporting," the release said.

Since the Omicron wave began on Dec. 8, 76 Nova Scotians have died because of COVID-19.

Unvaccinated Nova Scotians are more than five times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than someone with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. That is based on average hospitalizations since the province started releasing daily hospitalization numbers by vaccine status on Jan. 4.

Unvaccinated people are also about six times as likely to die of COVID-19 during the Omicron wave than someone who had received a booster dose, based on numbers provided by the province and last updated on Feb. 11.

The vaccination status of the 66 people being treated in COVID-19 designated hospital units is:

  • 22 (33.3 per cent) people have had a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 24 (36.4 per cent) are fully vaccinated (two doses).
  • One (1.5 per cent) is partially vaccinated.
  • 19 (28.8 per cent) are unvaccinated.

The age range for people in hospital is 13 to 93 years old, and the median age is 64. 

The province said Thursday that 85.9 per cent of Nova Scotia's population has received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 91.6 per cent have had one dose.

There are two other groups of people in hospital related to COVID-19:

  • 135 people who were identified as positive upon arrival at hospital but were admitted for another medical reason, or were admitted for COVID-19 but no longer require specialized care.
  • 166 people who contracted COVID-19 after being admitted to hospital.

Blood donations down amid Omicron wave

Canadian Blood Services said there's an urgent need for blood donations in Atlantic Canada and across the country.

The Omicron wave has led to staffing challenges and people being unable to donate because they've contracted COVID-19 or are isolating.

Kathy Gracie, associate director of Atlantic operations for Canadian Blood Services, said officials believe they have a two-week window to turn around "this concerning trend and get our blood inventory back up to acceptable levels."

She said there are 155 open appointments until the end of the month at the Bayers Road collection location in Halifax, and 455 across Atlantic Canada.

P.E.I. loosening COVID-19 restrictions

Fully vaccinated travellers and children under 12 travelling with fully vaccinated family members no longer have to isolate when visiting P.E.I., but they do have to test upon arrival, and on days two and four with supplied antigen tests. 

Unvaccinated travellers must still undergo the eight-day isolation period and continue to submit to testing. 

Nova Scotia Health labs completed 2,015 tests on Wednesday and found 242 new cases of the coronavirus. There were 80 cases in central zone, 67 cases in eastern zone, 50 cases in northern zone and 45 cases in western zone.

As of Thursday, there were an estimated 2,535 active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.

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