8 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Nova Scotia on Thursday

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Nova Scotia is reporting 8 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images - image credit)
Nova Scotia is reporting 8 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images - image credit)

Eight new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Nova Scotia on Thursday — the largest single-day jump since Jan. 13 — bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 27.

In a news release, the provincial Health Department said seven cases are in the central zone. Four are close contacts of previously reported cases and three are under investigation.

One case is in the eastern zone and is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.

Nova Scotia Health's labs completed 2,969 tests Wednesday — the most done in a day since early December.

"You can see from today's numbers that the cases are ticking up. And so, let me remind all Nova Scotians of the importance of testing," said Premier Iain Rankin in a news release, encouraging everyone to get tested regardless of whether they have symptoms.

One person is currently hospitalized in intensive care related to COVID-19.

The province is increasing its testing capacity, as there have been several cases in the past few weeks in which Public Health has not been able to find a source of infection, a trend Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang called "increasingly concerning."

Late Thursday evening, Nova Scotia Health issued five potential exposure warnings in the Halifax area, including two large retail stores and three restaurants. The full list of exposures can be found here.

Case confirmed at Halifax Shipyard

Late Thursday afternoon, Irving issued a news release saying one positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at the Halifax Shipyard.

The employee, who works in the shipyard's assembly and module halls, has been self-isolating at home. It is the first case to be confirmed at Irving Shipbuilding, said communications director Tom Ormsby in the release.

It's unclear whether the case is included in Thursday's reported COVID-19 data from the province.

Irving said it became aware of the positive case late Thursday morning after Nova Scotia Health reached out directly to the person's crew and directed all 15 members to go home, self-isolate and book a COVID-19 test.

Out of "an abundance of caution" and after speaking with the Nova Scotia's health authority, Irving temporarily suspended all production operations at the Halifax Shipyard on Friday, according to a release from Ormsby.

Hourly employees should not report to work, and staff employees at the Shipyard are working from home for the day.

Ormsby said the company is working with Nova Scotia Health to set up a pop-up testing site directly next to the shipyard for employees who want a rapid COVID-19 test.

Day shift employees who work at the assembly and module halls were sent home Thursday as a precaution.

Due to their location in Dartmouth, the release said staff at the Bluenose Building are to report for work as normal Friday, as are all staff at Marine Fabricators and Woodside Industries.

Vaccine numbers

The province said 30,748 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the province as of Wednesday. Of those, 11,766 Nova Scotians had received their second dose.

On Wednesday, the first Mi'kmaw vaccine clinic in Nova Scotia opened in Millbrook First Nation. The clinic will serve as a prototype for a dozen other Mi'kmaw communities in the province.

By end of day Thursday, the clinic is expected to have vaccinated about 200 community members over the age of 55.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

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