3 people from 1 long-term care home die from COVID-19 in Nova Scotia
'They are devastated by this,' virus brought in by symptom-free staff
Three more people have died from COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, bringing the total number of deaths from the virus in the province to seven as of Saturday's provincial update.
All three deaths occurred Saturday morning at the Northwood Halifax Campus, the long-term care facility posted to its website.
"We offer our sincerest condolences to the residents' families and friends," the letter said. "We have been in touch with their families and loved ones and are offering our deepest sympathy and support during this difficult time."
Northwood said symptom-free staff members who had been exposed to the virus in their homes and communities brought COVID-19 into the facility.
"They were not aware of the fact that they were spreading the virus and they are devastated by this," Northwood said in a frequently asked questions document on its website.
Residents staying in rooms
Premier Stephen McNeil announced the province is working with Northwood on an emergency plan to isolate the virus.
McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, will provide an update on Sunday at 3 p.m. AT.
My greatest fear with this virus was that it would make its way into our long-term care homes. I was so sad to learn of this devasting loss of life. We are working with Northwood to implement an emergency plan to isolate the virus and protect your loved ones. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19NS?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19NS</a>—@StephenMcNeil
My heart aches for friends at <a href="https://twitter.com/Northwood_NS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Northwood_NS</a>. I have the privilege to visit many times every year with <a href="https://twitter.com/LindellSmithHFX?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LindellSmithHFX</a> and others. The annual walks, Canada Day celebrations and other opportunities. To the residents and staff and families. Thoughts and prayers. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sosad?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sosad</a>—@MikeSavageHFX
Northwood said while it does have dedicated units for residents who contracted COVID-19, because the virus has spread further throughout the building, people are now being isolated in their rooms.
"As we learn more about this virus and the incubation period, we continue our efforts to test our residents and keep their families and loved ones informed," Northwood said.
43 new positive cases on Saturday
Cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia rose to 649, with 43 new positive tests.
The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 1,310 Nova Scotia tests on Friday. More than 20,000 samples have been tested.
To date, Nova Scotia has had 20,312 people test negative for the virus. The province lists 184 people as recovered.
There are still 11 people in hospital and five of those people are in intensive care.
Long-term care resident recent death
A resident of a long-term care home in Cape Breton was the province's fourth COVID-19-related death.
Shannex announced on Saturday a resident from its Fishermen's Cove neighbourhood at Harbourstone Enhanced Care in Sydney River, N.S., had died in hospital as a result of complications from the virus.
On Friday, Nova Scotia announced the fourth death from COVID-19 — a woman in her 80s who lived in the Cape Breton area.
"Our thoughts continue to be with the resident's family and friends at this very difficult time," Shannex said on its website.
Earlier this week, the third death in Nova Scotia was also connected to a long-term care home. A man who was a resident at Admiral Long Term Care Centre in Dartmouth had died in its COVID-19 isolation unit on Monday.
There were eight licensed long-term care homes in Nova Scotia with cases of COVID-19, involving 67 residents and 48 staff, according to provincial numbers through Friday's tally.
Northwood has announced 84 people at its Halifax Campus have tested positive for COVID-19 so far, including 51 residents and 33 staff.
Possible exposure at Spryfield Sobeys
Sobeys announced on Saturday one of its employees at its Spryfield store has tested positive for COVID-19. The last day that employee worked was Thursday.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority said there may have been exposure to COVID-19 at the store at 279 Herring Cove Road.
The dates range from April 14-16, between 6 a.m. and noon.
Public health is contacting anyone known to be a close contact, but there could be more people yet to be contacted.
Symptoms could develop up to and including April 30. The health authority advises people self-monitor for signs and symptoms.
Symptoms to look for
The province recently expanded the list of symptoms being screened for COVID-19. They are:
- New or worsening cough.
- Sore throat.
- Runny nose.
Anyone with two or more of those symptoms should visit 811's website for a self-assessment questionnaire to determine if 811 should be called for further assessment.