Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, will provide an update Thursday, April 22, at 1:30 p.m.
Twenty-five new cases of COVID-19 are being reported in Nova Scotia today, April 21.
Nineteen cases are in Central Zone. Four are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. The people are self-isolating, as required. Nine are close contacts of previously reported cases, two of which were identified Tuesday, April 20, at Dartmouth South Academy and Auburn Drive High. Six are under investigation, one of which was identified Tuesday, April 20, at Mount Edward Elementary.
Three cases are in Northern Zone. One is related to travel outside of Canada. The person is self-isolating, as required. The other two cases are currently under investigation.
Three cases are in Eastern Zone and are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada. The people are self-isolating, as required.
One of the cases that is under investigation in Central Zone is a staff member at Ocean View Continuing Care Centre, a long-term care facility in Eastern Passage. As a precaution, residents are being isolated and cared for in their rooms and the facility is closed to visitors and designated caregivers. Ocean View is working with public health on the testing that is required for residents and staff. All residents were offered vaccinations and the majority of residents accepted full vaccination with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Ocean View is encouraging and supporting vaccination of remaining residents and staff.
Another case that is under investigation in Central Zone is connected to Joseph Giles Elementary in Dartmouth. The school will remain closed to students until Tuesday, April 27. A deep cleaning will take place and students will learn from home during the closure. Families will receive an update before students return to school on Tuesday.
As with any positive case, public health will be in touch with any close contacts of these cases and advise of next steps, including testing. Everyone who is a close contact will be notified, tested and asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
Out of an abundance of caution, public health is recommending that all students and staff be tested. No self-isolation is required, unless people have been identified as a close contact by public health or have symptoms.
"I am very concerned with the rising number of cases in Nova Scotia, which are higher than we have seen in quite some time," said Premier Iain Rankin. "We are seeing early signs of community spread and we must strictly follow all public health protocols to get back on track, especially in the greater Halifax region."
As of today, Nova Scotia has 79 active cases of COVID-19.
Nova Scotia Health Authority's labs completed 4,562 Nova Scotia tests on April 20.
As of April 20, 230,801 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 33,356 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 352,477 tests. There have been 767 positive COVID-19 cases and two deaths. Three people are in hospital. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. There are 686 resolved cases. Cumulative cases may change as data is updated in Panorama.
"We are seeing a concerning rise in cases," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. "There are now early signs of community spread in the Sackville, Halifax, Dartmouth and Lawrencetown areas. We're asking residents of these areas to closely follow public health measures and go get tested for COVID-19. Testing is one way to detect cases early on, which will help manage them and limit the spread of the virus."
Nova Scotians are strongly encouraged to seek asymptomatic COVID-19 testing, particularly if they have a large number of close contacts due to their work or social activities. Appointments can be booked at https://covid-self-assessment.
-- fever (i.e. chills/sweats) or cough (new or worsening)
Two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):
-- sore throat
-- runny nose/nasal congestion
-- shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
Call 811 if you cannot access the online self-assessment or wish to speak with a nurse about your symptoms.
When a new case of COVID-19 is confirmed, the person is directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days. Public health works to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with that person.
Anyone who has travelled from anywhere except Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador must self-isolate for 14 days. As always, anyone who develops symptoms of acute respiratory illness should limit their contact with others until they feel better.
It remains important for Nova Scotians to strictly adhere to the public health order and directives - practise good hand washing and other hygiene steps, maintain a physical distance when and where required. Wearing a non-medical mask is mandatory in most indoor public places.
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavi
Businesses and other organizations can find information to help them safely reopen and operate at https://novascotia.ca/reopenin
-- additional information on COVID-19 case data, testing and vaccines is available at https://novascotia.ca/coronavi
-- a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22, 2020 and extended to May 2, 2021
-- online booking for COVID-19 testing appointments is available at https://covid-self-assessment.
More information from Ocean View is available on https://OceanV.ca or by calling 902-465-2899
Information about COVID-19 cases connected to public schools can be found at: https://www.ednet.ns.ca/backto
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)
The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)
If you need help with a non-crisis mental health or addiction concern call Community Mental Health and Addictions at 1-855-922-1122 (toll-free) weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)
For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)
For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavi