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Nova Scotia reports six more COVID-19 deaths bringing death toll to 22.

HALIFAX — Health officials in Nova Scotia reported six more deaths related to COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total to 22.

HALIFAX — Health officials in Nova Scotia reported six more deaths related to COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total to 22.

Five deaths occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax Regional Municipality, while a man in his 80s with underlying medical conditions died in the Western Zone of the province. He was not a resident of a long-term care home.

"Our province is experiencing a tremendous amount of pain right now. Our thoughts are with everyone who has lost a loved one from this virus," Premier Stephen McNeil said in a statement. "We stand together to grieve those who have died and to support those who are in mourning."

There are 10 licensed long-term care homes and unlicensed seniors' facilities in Nova Scotia with cases of COVID-19, involving 191 residents and 90 staff.

The province reported 15 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 865 confirmed cases.

A total of 412 cases are considered recovered.

Nova Scotia officials declined further comment Saturday.

While neighbouring New Brunswick has begun easing public health restrictions, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, was urging people in his province to stay home as much as possible and maintain social distancing.

"Let's be able to look back and know we did everything we could to stop this virus from hurting any more of our fellow Nova Scotians," Strang said.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 965 Nova Scotia tests on April 24 and is operating 24 hours a day. Nova Scotia has conducted more COVID-19 tests per capita than any other province.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new confirmed case of COVID-19 Saturday, raising the provincial total to 257 cases.

There have been three deaths from COVID-19 so far in the province. 

Meanwhile, New Brunswick had no new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, marking one week since there was a positive case.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 118 and 107 of them have recovered.

On Friday, New Brunswick announced the first steps of a four-phase plan aimed at gradually reopening the province and easing restrictions put in place to contain the pandemic.

Two family units are now allowed to interact as part of a so-called "two-family bubble", and the province will allow outdoor church services, as long as people remain in their vehicles spaced two metres apart.

Large gatherings such as festivals and concerts are on hold for the rest of the year.

Prince Edward Island also reported no new cases Saturday, leaving the provincial total at 26, with 24 of those considered as recovered.

— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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