N.S. reports 14 new COVID-19 cases; vaccination plan ahead of schedule
Province expects delivery of 400,000 doses of Moderna vaccine in coming weeks
Nova Scotia reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday for a total of 97 known active cases.
There are 12 new cases in the central health zone, all but one a close contact of a previously reported case. The other case is under investigation.
There's also one new case in the eastern zone, which is a close contact of a previously reported case, and one new case in the western zone related to travel.
Nova Scotia Health labs completed 5,977 tests on Wednesday.
There are six people in hospital with the virus, including three in intensive care.
Vaccination ahead of schedule
Speaking at a COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said Nova Scotia's vaccination plan is ahead of schedule.
Strang said 69 per cent of Nova Scotians have had at least one dose of vaccine and the target date for completing second doses will be "much earlier than scheduled."
He said the previous target date of mid-to-late fall for completing second doses could shift to August.
According to Strang, the increased pace of vaccinations is attributable to a more reliable vaccine supply, a shortened interval between doses and the interchangeability of doses.
Strang said 400,000 does of Moderna vaccine will be arriving in the province in the next few weeks and Nova Scotia Health staff have been working to put plans in place to ensure they are administered.
He urged Nova Scotians not to wait for a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech as they may end up having to wait longer than if they took the Moderna vaccine.
"The is no substantive difference between Pfizer and Moderna vaccines other than they are made by two different companies," Strang said.
As of Wednesday, 735,008 doses of vaccine have been administered. Of those, 66,248 Nova Scotians have received a second dose.
On Tuesday, the province announced that effective June 23 residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador will be able to enter Nova Scotia without having to self-isolate for 14 days.
As of midnight Wednesday, New Brunswick reopened its borders to the rest of Canada, but Rankin said Nova Scotia would take a more cautious approach.
"I'm not going to comment on other provinces," he said.
"The strong public health advice that we have here allowed us to create a plan that's based on the science and the very clear epidemiology."
Rankin said he was "very confident" in the province's reopening plan.
The province moved into Phase 2 of its reopening plan on Wednesday, allowing restaurants to resume indoor dining, stores to operate at half capacity and households to have more than one designated shopper, among many other changes.
Rankin said tourism operators have already noticed a dramatic increase in business.
Atlantic Canada case numbers
- New Brunswick reported four new cases Thursday. It now has 61 active cases.
- Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new case Thursday. The province has 32 active cases.
- P.E.I. reported no new cases Wednesday and has no active cases.