Nova Scotia reported 73 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, a figure that covers three days since the province's last update on Friday.
Before Monday, the number of new cases per day was hovering in the range of high single digits to low double digits, with a recent daily high of 17 new cases reported on Thursday.
Thirty-two new cases were reported on Saturday, 29 on Sunday and 12 on Monday.
Nova Scotia now has 125 active cases of COVID-19, marking a three-month high. The province last reported 124 active cases on June 14, at the end of an outbreak in May.
Four people are in hospital with the virus.
"We knew we'd get cases in the fourth wave and, like elsewhere, it's among people who are not vaccinated," said Dr. Robert Strang, the chief medical officer of health in a news release. "This highlights the importance of getting the vaccine. It's the best line of defence against COVID-19."
A COVID-19 briefing is scheduled to be held Tuesday at 3 p.m. AT.
Signs of community spread
There are 36 new cases in the province's northern zone. Of those, 32 are close contacts of previously reported cases, three are related to travel and one is under investigation.
According to a news release from the province, there is a large cluster of linked cases within a "defined group" in the northern zone. Most of that group is unvaccinated, so the province expects more linked cases.
Thirty-one of the new cases are in the central zone, with 11 of those being close contacts of previous cases, 11 being under investigation and nine being related to travel.
There are signs of community spread in the central zone among those who are unvaccinated, between the ages of 20 and 40 and participating in social activities, the news release said.
Four of the new cases are in the eastern zone, including three related to travel and one under investigation.
Two of the new cases are in the western zone, including one that is a close contact and one that is related to travel.
Labs in the province processed 2,782 COVID-19 tests on Friday, 2,440 on Saturday and 2,352 on Sunday.
Move to Phase 5
As of Monday's update, 72.5 per cent of Nova Scotians were fully vaccinated.
The province is expected to move into its final phase of its reopening plan on Wednesday. The move to Phase 5 means the requirement to wear masks and maintain physical distancing will be dropped in many indoor public places.
Masks will still be required in schools in Nova Scotia until Sept. 20.
Nova Scotia has not publicly announced any cases associated with schools so far this school year, which started for most students on Sept. 7.
Cases in N.B., P.E.I. schools
Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick have already started experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks in schools.
In-person classes at one school in Charlottetown have been cancelled for a week, while some other schools in Charlottetown are closing for at least three days after six new cases were discovered in people under the age of 19, including four under the age of 10.
Several schools are also closed in New Brunswick, especially in the Campbellton area, due to COVID-19 cases.
Atlantic Canada case numbers
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