Nova Scotia

2nd COVID-19 case identified at St. FX University

A second case of COVID-19 has been identified at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish. The case was found in a student who returned to the school on Jan. 5, according to a news release from the university Saturday.

Province announced 3 new cases Saturday, 1 is student who returned to Antigonish campus on Jan. 5

St. Francis Xavier University has announced two cases of COVID-19 in less than a week. (Robert Short/CBC)

A second case of COVID-19 has been identified at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish.

The case is a student who returned to the school from outside Atlantic Canada on Jan. 5, according to a news release from the university Saturday.

The student was tested the same day and has been isolating in residence.

The release said the school was informed of the new case by Nova Scotia Public Health on Friday evening.

The case at St. FX was included in the province's daily COVID-19 totals on Saturday. The province reported three new cases.

"We can see from our case numbers that Nova Scotians and university students returning to our province are doing a good job following the public health protocols and orders," Premier Stephen McNeil said in a news release Saturday.

This is the second case to be identified at St. FX this week. The first case also involved a returning student who arrived to campus on Jan. 3 and immediately began isolating.

"The two cases appear to be unrelated. Our plans have been fully enacted, including activating the necessary supports for our student, and the risk to the overall community remains low," the release said.

The school said Public Health is performing contact tracing. The university has also contacted anyone who is considered low-risk "to ensure they are informed."

On Friday, the province urged post-secondary students who have returned to Nova Scotia from outside of the Atlantic provinces to book a COVID-19 test on the sixth, seventh or eighth day of their isolation, regardless if they have symptoms. 

Any students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must complete a self-assessment online or call 811. Students will still be required to finish their isolation period even with a negative result.

"As we see more cases among post-secondary students returning to Nova Scotia, it serves as a reminder of the importance and effectiveness of our public health measures," Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said in the release. 

"I want to thank the students who are completing their self-isolation and taking advantage of the opportunity to get tested which is helping to keep other students, staff and their neighbouring communities safe."

Throughout COVID-19, St. FX had been holding most of its classes in-person. However, the university has delayed the start of in-person classes to Jan. 25 to allow returning students from New Brunswick time to complete their 14-day quarantine.

On Friday, McNeil announced that anyone coming into the province from New Brunswick must now self-isolate, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the province. 

Premier Stephen McNeil announced on Friday that anyone entering Nova Scotia from New Brunswick must now self-isolate for 14 days. (Communications Nova Scotia)

New Brunswick reported 30 new cases on Saturday, prompting more rules about students who travel into the province for custody agreements or school.

Any student travelling into New Brunswick from any other Canadian province due to formal custody or care agreements must now take a COVID-19 test once a week.

This also applies to students in kindergarten to Grade 8 living in Quebec or Nova Scotia who are attending school in New Brunswick.

Nova Scotia reported two other new cases on Saturday, one of which is a close contact of a previously reported case. The other is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada and the person is self-isolating, as required.

There are now 31 known active cases in the province. No one is in hospital with the virus.

Nova Scotia Health Authority's labs completed 1,154 on Friday.

Saturday evening, the health authority issued a potential exposure notice for an Air Canada flight. Anyone who was on the following flight is asked to continue to self-isolate and immediately book a test using the province's self-assessment website or contact 811 to arrange for COVID-19 testing, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Air Canada flight 7558 travelling on Jan. 5 from Montreal (1:30 p.m.) to Halifax (4:03 p.m.), passengers in rows 22-27 in seats A, C, and D. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Jan. 19.

All other passengers are asked to continue to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

The latest COVID-19 numbers from the Atlantic provinces are:

  • New Brunswick reported 30 new cases on Saturday with 171 active cases. Every zone of the province has been rolled back to orange-phase restrictions to deal with the growing number of cases.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases Saturday. There are four active cases and one person is in hospital related to the virus.
  • P.E.I. had one new case and eight active cases in Thursday's update.