Nova Scotia

N.S. reports 94 people in designated COVID-19 hospital units Friday

Nova Scotia reported 94 people in designated COVID-19 hospital units on Friday, including 13 in intensive care.

There are 13 people in intensive care

Currently, unvaccinated Nova Scotians are about four times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than someone with two doses of vaccine. That is based on average hospitalizations since the province started releasing the daily hospitalization numbers by vaccine status on Jan. 4. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Nova Scotia reported 94 people in designated COVID-19 hospital units on Friday, including 13 in intensive care.

There were 16 hospital admissions and three discharges on Friday.

There are 280 people in hospital with COVID-19:

  • 94 hospitalized due to the coronavirus.
  • 73 identified as positive upon arrival, but they were admitted for another medical reason, or were admitted for COVID-19 but no longer require specialized care.
  • 113 contracted COVID-19 while in hospital.

The vaccination status of those in hospital is:

  • 11 (11.7 per cent) people have had a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 60 (63.8 per cent) are fully vaccinated (two doses).
  • Four (4.3 per cent) are partially vaccinated.
  • 19 (20.2 per cent) are unvaccinated.

Less than 10 per cent of Nova Scotians are unvaccinated.

According to provincial statistics, more than 83 per cent of Nova Scotians had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, while 90.7 per cent had received at least one dose, as of Thursday.

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said Wednesday there are around 70,000 Nova Scotians who have not been vaccinated.

No vaccination update was provided in Friday's news release "due to technical issues."

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

Change to recommendations on how to use rapid tests

Nova Scotia Health is now recommending that people who use rapid tests at home swab both their throat and nose with the same swab for better results.

A new research study done in Nova Scotia found combined throat and nose swabs detected 88.7 per cent of cases compared to 64.5 per cent from nasal or throat swab alone.

Nova Scotia reported 601 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, including 269 cases in the central zone, 120 cases in the eastern zone, 49 cases in the northern zone and 163 cases in the western zone.

As of Thursday, there were an estimated 5,241 active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.

Pfizer vaccine appointments for those 30 years and older

On Friday, the province opened appointments for those 30 years and older to book Pfizer vaccines.

The province had been restricting those appointments for people under 30 because of the slightly increased risk of myocarditis for those in that age group who received the Moderna vaccine. 

However, the province also recommended that anyone over the age of 30 who has a Moderna appointment booked should keep that appointment so they can receive their vaccine sooner and reduce the chance of wasting vaccine. 

COVID-19 outbreak at Springhill Institution

In a news release Friday, the Correctional Service of Canada said 32 inmates at the Springhill Institution tested positive for COVID-19 recently. 

According to the institution, 74.5 per cent of inmates are fully vaccinated and 83.1 per cent have received a first dose. Vaccines are offered to all inmates, including booster doses.

Dawn Laite, the facility's assistant warden, said in the release that the prison screens anyone entering the facility. Rapid tests have been given to staff who are required to provide a negative rapid test to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

No major disruptions in schools

Friday marked the end of the first week Nova Scotia students were back in classrooms after an extended winter break and a week of at-home learning. Many families and teachers have expressed concern of an eruption of COVID-19 cases in schools, in particular because Public Health has discontinued contact tracing and exposure notifications in schools. 

According to figures shared with CBC News by all the regional centres for education and the CSAP, the French school board, student absences for the first week back were either normal for this time of year or slightly above average.

Not all school districts were able to share information on teacher absences, but those that did said staff attendance was similar to student attendance: either normal or slightly depressed. No school districts reported major operational disruptions because of staff absences.

Followup delays

A Friday news release from Nova Scotia Health said anyone who tested positive for the coronavirus from Jan. 13-17 will not receive a call from Public Health, and the notification of their test result will be the only contact.

Anyone who finds their symptoms getting worse should call 811 or 911 for medical help.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

  • Newfoundland and Labrador reported 18 people in hospital on Friday, with one in ICU. There were 324 new confirmed cases of the virus Thursday, with 2,666 active cases.
  • Prince Edward Island reported one death and eight people in hospital on Friday, with one in ICU. There were 267 new cases, with 2,429 active cases. 
  • New Brunswick reported two deaths and 125 hospitalizations Friday, including 14 people in ICU. The province reported 514 new cases on Friday for a total of 4,717 active cases.

With files from Taryn Grant

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