Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia reports 111 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Nova Scotia is reporting 111 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday as the province grapples with an outbreak.

University president among those infected with COVID-19

A sticker on a bag of COVID-19 rapid take-home tests encourages people to 'test to protect.' Sunday marked the third consecutive day the province has reported more than 100 cases. (Frances Willick/CBC)

Nova Scotia is reporting 111 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday as the province grapples with an outbreak.

There are 63 new cases in the central health zone, 42 in the eastern zone, five in the northern zone and one in the western zone, according to a news release from the Department of Health and Wellness.

This is the third consecutive day the province has reported more than 100 new cases. The last time that happened was in May, during the third wave of the pandemic.

The release said that due to the ongoing outbreak connected with St. Francis Xavier University, the number of new cases are being reported directly from the lab as they are identified, rather than being updated within Nova Scotia's online public health system.

"This continues to better [reflect] the situation on the ground," the release stated.

On Saturday, a spokesperson said because the results are coming from the lab, there is no further breakdown of how many cases are related to the outbreak. It's also unclear how many active cases are now in the province.

Public Health said some of the new cases associated with the outbreak are being counted in the central health zone — rather than the eastern zone — because some students have Halifax listed on their health card.

As of Friday, there were 114 cases connected to the outbreak, which likely stemmed from the university's X-Ring ceremony and a number of sanctioned and unsanctioned events at the university last weekend.

On Saturday, the university's president apologized for the events that led to the current COVID-19 outbreak in Nova Scotia.

A building at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish is seen in the winter. As of Friday's update, there had been 114 COVID-19 cases connected to the outbreak at the school. (Robert Short/CBC)

The university's president is among those at the school infected with COVID-19.

Andy Hakin shared the information in a statement to the university community late Sunday evening. He said he and two other fully vaccinated members of the leadership team tested positive for the virus. They are experiencing mild symptoms and will continue to work remotely while self-isolating.

Hakin also provided an update on the number of students impacted by the outbreak. He said as of Saturday afternoon, there were 125 students isolating, 26 of whom live on campus.

The university cancelled all in-person exams after the province changed its COVID-19 isolation policy, which is expected to impact many students. In his Sunday update, Hakin said the university is dedicated to "finishing exams before the new academic term begins," and more information will be shared in the coming days. 

Due to the increase in cases and the high number of recent exposures, the province said all close contacts of positive cases must now isolate until they receive a negative PCR test, regardless of vaccination status.

Public Health has sent its mobile COVID-19 testing unit to Antigonish. It will be at the university's Keating Centre at 1100 Convocation Blvd. during the following dates and times:

  • Sunday, Dec. 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 13 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The province has also scheduled a COVID-19 briefing on Monday at 3 p.m. with Premier Tim Houston, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang and Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

  • New Brunswick reported two deaths and 126 new cases Saturday. The province has 1,003 active cases, with 32 people in hospital, including 11 in intensive care.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador reported two cases Friday. The province has 13 active cases.
  • Prince Edward Island reported seven cases on Sunday. The province has 37 active cases.

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