N.S. reports 25 new cases of COVID-19, premier 'very concerned'

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Nova Scotia reported the highest number of new cases of COVID-19 since November even as vaccine rollout in the province picks up pace. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
Nova Scotia reported the highest number of new cases of COVID-19 since November even as vaccine rollout in the province picks up pace. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

Nova Scotia reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest daily count in the province since November and one of the largest tallies in almost a year.

Premier Iain Rankin said in a news release he is "very concerned" about the rising number of new cases in the province.

"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," Rankin said.

Nineteen of the new cases are in the central health zone, which includes the Halifax area. Four cases are related to travel outside the region.

Nine of the new cases are close contacts of previously reported cases, including two that were identified on Tuesday at Dartmouth South Academy and Auburn Drive High School.

Six of the cases in the central zone are under investigation including one case that was identified Tuesday at Mount Edward Elementary.

There are three cases in the northern health zone. One of the cases is related to travel outside Canada — the other two are under investigation. Three new cases were reported in the eastern health zone and are all related to travel outside the region.

The number of new cases reported Wednesday is the highest since Nov. 24, when 37 were reported. Aside from that date, it is the highest case count since April 27, 2020, when 27 new cases were recorded.

There are now 79 active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia. Three people are in hospital as a result of the virus, none of them in intensive care.

School-connected cases

On Wednesday evening, the province announced a COVID case connected to Shannon Park Elementary in Dartmouth. Another case was also identified connected to Bell Park Academic Centre in Lake Echo.

Both schools will be closed until Tuesday, April 27, for deep cleaning.

The cases were identified after the cut-off for the day, so they will be included in Thursday's COVID-19 numbers.

Public Health will get in touch with anyone who was in close contact with the affected people at each school, and they will be asked to get tested and to self-isolate for 14 days. However, Public Health recommends that all students and staff at the schools get tested.

Nova Scotia health authority labs completed 4,562 tests on Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, Nova Scotia had administered 230,801 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 33,356 second doses. The province has significantly increased the number of doses administered in less than two weeks.

New cases at school and care facility

One of the cases under investigation in the central zone is a staff member at Ocean View Continuing Care Centre, a long-term care facility in Eastern Passage.

The release said the majority of residents were fully vaccinated, but the residents were being isolated in their rooms and the facility has been closed to visitors and caregivers as a precaution.

According to the release, Ocean View Continuing Care Centre is testing all residents and staff and encouraging vaccination of everyone at the facility who has not already been immunized.

There is another case that is under investigation connected to Joseph Giles Elementary in Dartmouth. The school is closed for deep cleaning until April 27 and students will learn from home until it reopens.

Public Health said all close contacts of the case will be notified, but it is recommending that all students and staff take a COVID-19 test. Self-isolation is not required unless the person is a close contact or is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

New border restrictions

On Thursday at 8 a.m. new restrictions on who can travel to Nova Scotia come into effect. People will not be allowed to enter the province unless their trip is deemed essential or they are permanent residents of the province.

Starting Thursday at 8 a.m. people will not be allowed to enter the province unless their trip is deemed essential or they are permanent residents of the province.
Starting Thursday at 8 a.m. people will not be allowed to enter the province unless their trip is deemed essential or they are permanent residents of the province.(Patrick Callaghan/CBC)

Rankin made the announcement during a press briefing early Tuesday afternoon. Only those travelling from P.E.I. or Newfoundland and Labrador, where COVID-19 case counts are low, are exempt from the new rules.

Nova Scotia residents are also being told not to leave the province unless it is necessary.

The measures will be in place for four weeks.

The restrictions come as Dr. Robert Strang, the chief medical officer of health, said there are early signs of COVID-19 community spread in the central health zone, including in Lower Sackville, Halifax, Dartmouth and Lawrencetown. Strang urged anyone in those communities to get tested regardless of whether they have symptoms.

New exposure notices

Nova Scotia Health posted a number of new exposure notices on Wednesday for the Halifax area, Wolfville and New Minas.

Anyone who worked at or visited the following locations on the specified dates and times should book a COVID-19 test on the self-assessment website or by contacting 811, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms.

Individuals who were at the following locations during the listed times need to self-isolate while they await test results, regardless of whether they have symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Bluenose II Restaurant at 1824 Hollis St., Halifax, on April 17 between 11:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through May 1

  • Boston Pizza at 194A Chain Lake Dr., Halifax, on April 18 between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through May 1.

  • East Side Marios at 186 Chain Lake Dr., Halifax, on April 17 between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through May 1.

  • Mary's Place Cafe at 5982 Spring Garden Rd., Halifax, on April 18 between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through May 2.

  • 2 Boys Smokehouse and Deli at 984 Cole Harbour Rd., Dartmouth, on April 17 between noon to 4 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through May 1.

  • Church Brewery at 329 Main St., Wolfville, on April 18 between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through May 2.

  • Value Village at 9256 Commercial St., New Minas, on April 18 between noon and 1:30 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through to May 2.

  • Pet Smart at 12 Millett Dr., New Minas, on April 18 between 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through to May 2.

Individuals who were at the following Halifax Transit route during the listed times need to self-isolate while they await test results, regardless of whether they have symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Halifax Transit Bus #61 Auburn/North Preston (North Preston to Halifax) on April 14 between 12:30 -2 p.m., April 15 between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and April 16 between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 30.

Individuals who were at the following locations during the listed times do not have to self-isolate while they await test results, unless they have symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Walmart Dartmouth Crossing at 90 Lamont Terrace, Dartmouth, on April 14 between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 28.

  • Hollister at Halifax Shopping Centre, 7001 Mumford Rd., Halifax, on April 14 between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 28

  • Value Village at 165 Chain Lake Dr., Halifax, on April 17 between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through May 1.

  • Mission Mart at 265 Susie Lake Crescent, Halifax, on April 17 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through May 1.

  • Giant Tiger at 114 Woodlawn Rd., Dartmouth, on April 17 between noon and 4 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through May 1.

  • Superstore at 650 Portland St., Dartmouth, on April 17 between noon and 4 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through May 1.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

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