N.S. reports 3 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday after record testing numbers

·3 min read
A technician places rapid COVID-19 swabs into a test tube container on Nov. 24, 2020, at Dalhousie University in Halifax. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
A technician places rapid COVID-19 swabs into a test tube container on Nov. 24, 2020, at Dalhousie University in Halifax. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

Nova Scotia reported record-high testing numbers and three new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, a tally that comes as the Halifax region and some surrounding communities entered a second day of tighter restrictions.

One new case was in the central health zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case, according to a Department of Health news release. The northern health zone and eastern health zone had one case each, both related to travel outside the region. All the new cases are self-isolating.

The province now has 38 known active cases. Two people are hospitalized and in intensive care related to the virus.

On Friday, Premier Iain Rankin warned against non-essential travel within the province and elsewhere and introduced new restrictions for the Halifax Regional Municipality, up to and including Porters Lake, as well as Enfield, Elmsdale, Mount Uniacke and Hubbards.

The restrictions came into effect on Saturday and will be in place until at least March 26.

Nova Scotia completed a record 4,839 COVID-19 tests on Saturday. In Sunday's news release, Rankin commended Nova Scotians for responding in great numbers to get tested.

"Let's continue to make proactive testing a top priority," he said.

"No matter whether you live in Halifax or elsewhere in the province, I encourage you, even if you don't have symptoms, to book an appointment at one of the primary assessment centres or drop into a pop-up testing site."

Pop-up testing in Halifax

Nova Scotia's health authority will be holding rapid COVID-19 testing at two pop-up sites in Halifax.

Testing will be available at the Halifax Convention Centre from 3:30-9:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.

Testing will take place at the Paul O'Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library from 10:30 a.m to 6 p.m. on Monday and from noon to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Halifax workplace exposures

Halifax Regional Police confirmed on Saturday that one of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19.

In an email, the watch commander said they were working closely with Public Health to follow the required protocols and that there would be no impact on service.

Irving suspended operations Friday at its shipyard on the Halifax waterfront after one case of COVID-19 was confirmed the day before.

Irving said Friday it planned to test employees on Saturday and Sunday. Irving said the focus this weekend would be on priority roles, production and production support.

Irving announced via Twitter on Saturday that testing for employees would also take place on Monday at the Halifax Shipyard from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Another tweet indicated that 795 employees had been tested on Saturday.

In a news release Sunday evening, Irving said staff and members of Local 28 could return to work on Monday.

It said if no cases are detected during testing on Sunday and Monday, the day shift would resume all production activities at the Halifax Shipyard on Tuesday.

The company said 1,600 people work at the Halifax Shipyard each day.

Atlantic Canada case numbers