A Halifax bar has closed while staff await their COVID-19 test results, after Public Health in Nova Scotia updated some of its possible COVID-19 exposure warnings and added two new ones.
The province reported three new cases of the virus on Sunday, bringing the total active cases to 20. There are three cases no longer considered active since Saturday's update.
The new cases are in the central zone, and all three are under investigation.
On Sunday, Public Health warned of the following two possible exposures:
All Nations Full Gospel Church worshiping at Saint Andrew's United Church on Coburg Road., Halifax on Oct. 25 at 6 p.m.
Montana's BBQ and Bar on Chain Lake Drive in Halifax on Oct. 25 from 6 p.m. to close.
It is expected anyone exposed to the virus at these locations may develop symptoms up to, and including, Monday Nov. 9.
The earlier notice for the Bitter End Martini Bar and Restaurant on Argyle Street in Halifax on Nov. 2 has also been extended to include all patrons and staff who were at the bar between 9 p.m. and closing.
Anyone present at any of these locations during these times is asked to call 811 to arrange for COVID-19 testing even if they have no symptoms.
Nova Scotia Health sent a tweet on Sunday afternoon saying that some asymptomatic people who may have been exposed at Bitter End may have called 811 and not been referred for testing. It is asking those people to call back for a test referral.
Premier weighs in on recent cases
"I am concerned about the recent increase in both the number of cases and public exposure notices," Premier Stephen McNeil said in a release Sunday.
"We cannot become complacent about this virus. That means we all must continue to follow public health protocols."
Contact tracing and testing are important aspects of public health during a pandemic, Dr. Strang, chief medical officer of health, said in the release.
As positive cases are investigated, he said public health might learn that someone spent time in settings like a restaurant while infectious or potentially infectious.
If they are unsure that they've found all the contacts, Strang said they use public exposure notices to ensure everyone that may have been a close contact is aware and monitoring their health, or getting tested if need be.
Both Strang and McNeil will hold a COVID-19 media update on Monday at 3 p.m.
The Bitter End has closed to allow staff to take COVID-19 tests on Sunday and await results, owner Mike Leigh said Sunday.
He added that Public Health did not direct them to close, but only that all staff working on Nov. 2 couldn't come back to work until they had a negative result.
Since most staff worked on Nov. 2 anyway, Leigh said the business will not reopen until all staff tests come back negative. He said the results are supposed to come back by Monday morning with a reopening possible that night.
Leigh said he knows nothing about the possible exposure other than it originally related to a customer, not an employee.
"They want to be able to officially eliminate us as a possibility," Leigh said. "They're being hyper-vigilant on this, which is fine ... I'd rather err on the side of caution."
Other recent exposures
Another two possible exposure sites have been corrected.
There was one on Nov.1 at the BMO Soccer Centre at 210 Thomas Raddall Dr. in Halifax from 6-9 p.m., not the BMO Centre on Gary Martin Drive as Public Health had previously reported.
For WestJet Flight 254 on Oct. 30 from Toronto to Halifax, the exposure relates to passengers in rows 15-21, seats A, B, C, not rows 39 to 45 in those seats as had been previously stated.
Other recent public exposure notices include restaurants, Halifax Transit, flights, sports facilities and stores and can be found here.
Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 722 Nova Scotia tests on Saturday.
So far, Nova Scotia has had 1,128 positive cases and 65 deaths. No one is currently in hospital.
Due to a technical issue, a number of "completed tests and negative test results" from labs outside of the Central Zone are not included in Sunday's testing number. The numbers will be updated when that information is available.
The latest numbers from around the Atlantic bubble are:
Anyone with one of the following symptoms should visit the COVID-19 self-assessment website or call 811:
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:
Shortness of breath.
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