N.S. reports 31 new COVID-19 cases, including three tied to outbreak at care home

·3 min read

HALIFAX — A total of 31 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Nova Scotia Tuesday, including three more in a long-term care home at the centre of an outbreak in the province's northern health zone.

After reporting the deaths of two residents in their 80s on Monday, health officials said one more resident and two additional staff members had tested positive for novel coronavirus at the East Cumberland Lodge in Pugwash, N.S.

A total of 29 residents and 10 staff have now tested positive at the home, which officials have said is related to ongoing transmission from a multi-day faith-based gathering in late October. Health officials have previously confirmed that about 100 people attended the event and were not asked to show proof of vaccination, which is a violation of public health orders.

Police in the town of Amherst, N.S., have said they are investigating the gathering after receiving a complaint. "We are working closely with public health," Amherst police Chief Dwayne Pike said in an email Tuesday.

"While public health does not direct police activities, there is great value in their input, and it is important that their expertise and assistance is utilized during investigations into any matter that involves a public health order."

Pike declined to reveal other specifics, including the name of the host church for last month's event.

Meanwhile, public health officials confirmed in an emailed statement that the COVID-19-related death of a woman in her 60s at a group home in Amherst, was "linked to spread from a recent faith-based gathering." The death was also announced on Monday.

As for the investigation by Amherst police, the statement said public health officials "would not interfere or direct a police investigation. What is in the current (health) order is the law and should be enforced."

In an update on its website Tuesday, East Cumberland Lodge said it is conducting regular testing every 72 hours for all residents and employees.

"We are thankful that the majority of residents are experiencing generally mild symptoms but continue to monitor closely for any changes," the home said.

"It is also important to clarify that staff who work at East Cumberland Lodge are permitted (unless otherwise directed by public health) to be out and about in the community and go about their day, as there are no isolation protocols placed on them."

The home said 100 per cent of its residents and 97 per cent of its staff are vaccinated against COVID-19. The home is currently closed to visitors.

The new cases identified Tuesday include 19 in the Halifax area, nine in the province's northern zone, two in the eastern zone and one case in the western zone. Officials said 16 people are in hospital as a result of the disease, including seven patients in intensive care.

With 41 new recoveries also reported, the province currently has a total of 253 active cases of COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2021.

Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting