Nova Scotia reports 4 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday
Province is keeping a watchful eye on situation in neighbouring N.B. as cases rise
Nova Scotia reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a decline from the 12 cases reported the previous day.
Two of the new cases were in the central health zone, which includes Halifax, and are close contacts of previously reported cases, according to a news release from the province.
One case was in the eastern health zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case. One case was in the northern health zone and is related to travel outside the region.
There are currently 28 active cases in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Health Authority labs conducted 1,467 tests on Wednesday.
Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, urged Nova Scotians to remain vigilant.
"As we continue to see new COVID-19 cases every day, it is apparent that the virus is still in our communities," he said in the release.
In December, Nova Scotia received a combined 9,550 doses of Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. On Tuesday, the province said 2,720 doses have been administered, 2,720 were reserved for second dose and 3,700 Moderna doses were reserved for long-term care.
More than one million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccine expected to arrive in the province by June and the province said Tuesday it plans to vaccinate 75 per cent of Nova Scotians by early fall.
Situation in N.B. being monitored
Premier Stephen McNeil said the province was closely watching the situation in neighbouring New Brunswick where there has been a surge of cases in recent days. New Brunswick reported a single-day record of 31 new cases on Wednesday and an additional 24 cases on Thursday.
"The situation there is a reminder of how quickly the virus can spread, and also reminds us of the importance of following all the public health protocols," he said in the release.
New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador have imposed isolation rules for travellers from Nova Scotia after the Atlantic bubble burst in November.
However people entering Nova Scotia from the other Atlantic provinces are not currently required to self-isolate.
David Kogon is the mayor of Amherst, N.S., the closest town to the N.B. border.
He told CBC's Information Morning Nova Scotia that New Brunswick's 14-day self-isolation requirement for those coming from Nova Scotia has dramatically decreased cross-border traffic.
Kogon said Amherst and Cumberland County have not had a single case of COVID-19 so far. But if the New Brunswick numbers continue to climb, N.S. officials may have to consider tighter border restrictions.
"This is not an unanticipated rise in cases given the holiday season and the increased socialization, " he said. "We'll have to wait and see because that's a provincial call."
Quarantined university students should get tested
The Nova Scotia government is urging university students who have returned to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic bubble to book a COVID-19 test on either their sixth, seventh or eighth day of isolation, regardless of whether they have symptoms.
Appointments can be booked up to three days in advance.
Returning students must self-isolate for the full 14 days, even with a negative test result. They are not allowed to attend in-person classes until their quarantine is finished.
If any student is experiencing symptoms they need to complete a self-assessment online or call 811.
Atlantic Canada case numbers
The latest COVID-19 numbers from the Atlantic provinces are:
- Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases on Thursday. There are nine active cases and one person is in hospital.
- New Brunswick reported 24 new cases on Thursday with 130 active cases. One person is hospitalized and in intensive care. Every zone of the province has been rolled back to the orange phase to deal with the growing number of cases.
- P.E.I. reported one new case on Thursday and currently has eight active cases.