6 new cases, 6 possible exposures of COVID-19 reported in Nova Scotia

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Nova Scotia reported six new possible COVID-19 exposures and six new cases of the virus in the central health zone on Saturday — the largest single-day increase in cases since May 15.

The province now has 21 active cases.

"I am concerned that people are not taking the virus seriously and putting others in jeopardy," Premier Stephen McNeil said in a news release from the Department of Health and Wellness.

"It is imperative that everyone follow public health protocols — wear a mask, limit social contacts, practice social distancing, stay home when feeling unwell and wash your hands."

One of the new cases is tied to the Bitter End Martini Bar on Argyle Street in Halifax, where a potential exposure was announced earlier this month. Saturday's release says the cases at the Bitter End are related to a cluster in the Clayton Park area of Halifax.

Anyone who was at the Bitter End on Nov. 2 from 9 p.m. to close has been asked to call 811 to set up a test, even if they don't have symptoms.

The other five are part of an emerging cluster that's under investigation by Public Health, the release said. All new cases are connected to previous ones.

The Nova Scotia Health Authority completed 1,062 Nova Scotia tests on Friday, the release said.

Possible exposures in Halifax area

On Saturday, Public Health announced six new possible COVID-19 exposures in the Halifax area:

  • Real Fake Meats at 2278 Gottingen St. on Oct. 31 from 4-5 p.m. It is expected that anyone exposed to the virus here may develop symptoms up to and including Nov. 14.

  • Antojo Tacos and Tequila at 1667 Argyle St. on Oct. 31 from 6-9 p.m. It is expected that anyone exposed to the virus here may develop symptoms up to and including Nov. 14.

  • MEC at 1550 Granville St. on Nov. 4 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. It is expected that anyone exposed to the virus here may develop symptoms up to and including Nov. 18.

  • Aerobics First at 6166 Quinpool Rd. on Nov. 7 from 1-3:30 p.m. It is expected that anyone exposed to the virus here may develop symptoms up to and including Nov. 21.

  • Pet Valu at 5686 Spring Garden Rd. on Nov. 9 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. It is expected that anyone exposed to the virus here may develop symptoms up to and including Nov. 23.

  • East Preston Recreation Centre – the gym/basketball court at 24 Brooks Drive on Nov. 9 from 8:30-11 p.m. It is expected that anyone exposed to the virus here may develop symptoms up to and including Nov. 23.

Anyone present at any of these locations during these times is asked to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.

Between Friday and Saturday, there have been 10 possible exposures reported in Halifax.

On Friday, Public Health found two new cases of COVID-19. The province also said there were four new possible COVID-19 exposures:

  • John W. Lindsay YMCA Gym at 5640 Sackville St. on Nov. 9-10 between 6-8 a.m. Anyone who was in the gym section of the facility during this time should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. It is expected that anyone exposed to the virus here may develop symptoms up to, and including, Nov. 24.

  • The Local Restaurant and Bar at 2037 Gottingen St. on Nov. 9 between 4 p.m. to close.

  • Tim Hortons at 36 Verdi Dr., Bedford Commons, Bedford on Nov. 12 from 6:30-8 a.m. Anyone at this spot during this time should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, which may develop up until Nov. 26.

Nova Scotia Health revised its exposure notice about The Local on Saturday evening, saying anyone who was at the bar during the affected timeframe should call 811 to set up a test, even if they don't have symptoms.

In reference to the changing advice, Regional Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Claudia Sarbu, said in a release that "at times, we gather information throughout our investigation that means we have to issue new information and advice."

Victor Syperek, owner of The Local, said the business found out about the potential exposure Friday evening and promptly shut down.

While he wasn't there last Monday, Syperek said he heard from a manager that it was a fairly quiet evening. He believes the potential exposure came from a patron, not an employee.

Syperek said the restaurant keeps a log book for contact tracing and all guests are required to write their name and phone number, and sanitize before entering.

He said nobody has any symptoms, but he and his staff are getting tested as a precaution and will sanitize and reopen the restaurant after they've received negative results.

The province also sent out an advisory on Thursday afternoon for a potential COVID-19 exposure at Atlantic Superstore in Halifax.

Anyone who was at the Barrington Street store between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Nov. 7 should self-monitor for COVID symptoms.

Atlantic bubble

During a news conference on Friday, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said Nova Scotians need to look at decreasing their social contacts over the next six to eight weeks in the effort to keep case numbers down.

Strang also said any student from outside of the bubble who wants to return for Christmas will also have to quarantine, but Strang said they should strongly consider not coming back for the holidays.

Overall, Nova Scotia has recorded 1,142 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths.

The latest numbers from around the Atlantic bubble are:

Symptoms

Anyone with one of the following symptoms should visit the COVID-19 self-assessment website or call 811:

  • Fever.

  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough.

Anyone with two or more of the following symptoms is also asked to visit the website or call 811:

  • Sore throat.

  • Headache.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Runny nose.

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