Nova Scotia reports 121 new COVID-19 cases Monday
58 people are in hospital with the virus, including 9 in intensive care
Nova Scotia is reporting 121 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, for a total of 1,655 known active cases.
There are 94 new cases in the central health zone, 16 in the eastern zone, six in the western zone and five in the northern zone, according to a news release from the provincial health department.
Nova Scotia Health labs completed 5,021 COVID-19 tests on Sunday, representing a positivity rate of 2.5 per cent, according to provincial calculations.
There are 58 people in hospital with the virus, including nine in intensive care.
The province continues to work through a backlog in data entry, which has led to high daily case numbers in recent days.
Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, said most of the backlog was cleared over the weekend, and he expects the system will be back to regular capacity by mid-week.
"We are certainly seeing new cases coming in, but that number of new cases, that trend over the last week is coming down on a slow, but regular basis," Strang said at a briefing Monday.
"We are headed in the right direction, but I'm fully aware you don't just turn this around overnight, so we have a number of weeks — the month of May — that we all have to stay committed ... before we can bring those case numbers down."
Compassionate exemption for people moving
Nova Scotia has introduced a compassionate exemption application process for people who had plans to move to the province this month, after many people expressed frustrations about border restrictions that were suddenly imposed. The province announced Friday it would deny entry to anyone moving to Nova Scotia as of Monday.
"Obviously, there are exceptional circumstances — you sold your house in another province and took ownership on a house here in Nova Scotia — all before the border closed or you've signed a lease," Premier Iain Rankin said at Monday's briefing.
"We recognize there needs to be some flexibility on previously agreed upon dates, and we don't want you to be homeless, quite frankly."
The application for people moving to the province will be available on the Nova Scotia government's website.
Rankin also announced the government will spend $1.3 million on improving food security in Nova Scotia during the third wave of the pandemic.
The funding will be provided to Feed Nova Scotia, smaller food banks and charitable organizations, and family resource centres across the province.
Vaccine rollout continues
Strang said there continues to be a high uptake in COVID-19 vaccines as more age cohorts become eligible. As of Friday, people over the age of 40 are eligible to be vaccinated in Nova Scotia.
So far, the province has administered 366,089 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Of those, 37,699 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.
On Monday, Nova Scotia's first drive-thru vaccination clinic opened at the Dartmouth General Hospital for people 50 and older, by appointment.
Pop-up rapid testing
Over the weekend, the health authority said it had identified low-risk potential exposures and positive cases in and around the South Shore and Annapolis Valley, therefore asymptomatic testing sites are being held Monday in the affected areas. Testing is available at:
- Gateway Plaza at 200-215 Dominion St., Bridgewater, from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Lunenburg Municipal Building at 210 Aberdeen Rd., Bridgewater, from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Liverpool at 157 School St. from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Acadia University Club at 17 Westwood Ave., Wolfville, from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Berwick Fire Hall at 300 Commercial St., Berwick, from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Rapid testing continues to be offered in the Halifax area, which has been the epicentre of the third wave, and in Sydney, where there were some high-risk exposures in recent weeks.
Atlantic Canada case numbers
- New Brunswick reported 11 new cases on Monday. There are now 149 active cases.
- Newfoundland and Labrador reported three new COVID-19 cases for a total of 67 active cases Monday.
- P.E.I. announced one new case Monday and now has nine active cases.