This week's COVID-19 epidemiologic report shows a continued increase in positive lab tests and cases linked to long-term and residential care facilities in Nova Scotia. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are also increasing. However, the risk of severe illness is still lowest during the current Omicron wave.
"The increase in positive tests and hospitalizations shows the impact of both a highly infectious strain of COVID-19 and the second phase of our reopening," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer of Health. "We have more community transmission and people are getting infected with the virus, but the proportion of hospitalizations and deaths among those has remained low - the direct result of vaccination. None of this is unexpected, but it is concerning - and an important reminder that the pandemic is not over, and we need to do what we can to slow the spread."
For the one-week period ending March 30:
-- there were 4,188 positive PCR tests performed at the lab
-- there were 53 new hospital admissions due to COVID-19 and 16 discharges
-- as of March 30, there were 51 people in hospital for COVID-19 with a median age of 68
-- of the current hospitalizations, 21.6 per cent were unvaccinated or had one dose of vaccine
-- there were 10 COVID-19 deaths reported in Panorama, public health's disease information system, during this period
-- the median age of COVID-19 reported deaths since the start of the Omicron wave (December 8, 2021) is 79, and 26.6 per cent of people were unvaccinated or had one dose of vaccine
-- as of March 30, 87.4 per cent of Nova Scotians had two or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine, 4.9 per cent had one dose, and 7.7 per cent were unvaccinated.
The weekly COVID-19 epidemiologic summary prepared for Dr. Strang and his team to inform the province's response to the pandemic is now available to the public. The report tracks weekly trends and is focused on monitoring for severe outcomes in key populations. It will be posted weekly on the government's coronavirus website.
This week's report can be found here: https://novascotia.ca/coronavi
"I want Nova Scotians to have access to the same information as I do so they can see it and better understand the current situation with COVID in our province," said Dr. Strang. "Not only does it help us assess our own risk and do what makes sense; it also allows us to see first-hand the impact of our actions - like vaccines, masking and testing - in very real terms."
The COVID-19 dashboard, active since January 2021, will be updated weekly until the end of April, at which point it will be archived.
COVID-19 dashboard: https://experience.arcgis.com/
Book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment: https://novascotia.flow.canimm
For information on testing, including where to get a rapid testing kit: https://www.nshealth.ca/corona
Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/publi