N.S. reports new COVID-19 case connected to Halifax-area school

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Nova Scotia is continuing to offer rapid COVID-19 testing at various locations.
Nova Scotia is continuing to offer rapid COVID-19 testing at various locations.

(CBC/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Nova Scotia reported a new COVID-19 case connected to a school in the Halifax area late Wednesday.

A news release said the case was identified Wednesday and is connected to Beaver Bank-Monarch Drive Elementary in the province's central zone.

The person has not been in school since Feb. 12 and is self-isolating.

The school will remain closed to students until Tuesday, Feb. 23 while a deep cleaning is underway. Students will learn from home in the meantime. Families are expected to receive an update on Feb. 22 about the return to school.

Public Health will be in touch with any close contacts of the confirmed case. Those contacts will be tested and asked to self-isolate.

3 cases reported earlier Wednesday

The new school case came a few hours after Nova Scotia reported three new cases of COVID-19, which were identified Tuesday.

The three cases are in the province's central zone. One case is related to travel to New Brunswick and that person is self-isolating, the province said. The other two cases are currently under investigation.

"Six cases over two days is a low number, but it is the most cases we have seen on consecutive days in close to a month," Premier Stephen McNeil said in a news release.

"It is a reminder that COVID-19 is still here, with active cases in every health zone in our province, and that is why we cannot let complacency set in."

15 active cases

With the addition of the school case announced late Wednesday, the province now has 15 active cases of COVID-19. One person is in intensive care.

It's unclear whether any other new cases were confirmed Wednesday. The province typically waits until the following day to announce case numbers.

The province said 24,049 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered as of Tuesday and 8,830 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.

Nova Scotia Health labs completed 922 tests on Feb. 16.

Reallocation of doses

On Friday, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, announced that the province's expected shipment of 5,900 Moderna vaccines would be reduced to 3,000 this week, and that a subsequent shipment in March would also be reduced.

New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba have also announced that portions of their Moderna shipments will be sent to the territories.

The federal government is sending some Moderna doses that were originally slated to be distributed to provinces to Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut instead.

The territories are not receiving any doses of the other approved vaccine, made by Pfizer-BioNTech, as that product's storage requirements make it difficult to transport in the North and because of the limited access to robust health care services in some remote and isolated areas.

In a statement to CBC News on Tuesday evening, Health Canada said the Moderna doses that are being sent to the territories are not "lost" to the provinces; they are simply "deferred."

"At the end of March, all allocations will be squared up and the doses of Moderna will be delivered as agreed upon initially to provinces and territories," said a Health Canada spokesperson.

Community testing

Pop-up, rapid testing will be available at the following locations and times:

  • Thursday, Feb. 18 at Paul O'Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Friday, Feb. 19 at Paul O'Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library from 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  • Friday, Feb. 19 at the Lion's Community Hall at 39 Lions Ave. in St. Peters from noon to 6:30 p.m.

  • Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre at 606 Reeves St. from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Public Health's mobile units will also be in Sheet Harbour for asymptomatic testing on Friday, Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheet Harbour Legion. This is open for both drop-in testing and pre-booked appointments.

Potential COVID-19 exposures

Late Wednesday evening, Nova Scotia Health issued four potential COVID-19 exposures at businesses in New Minas.

Anyone who was at the following location(s) should book a COVID-19 test on the self-assessment website or contact 811, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms. People must self-isolate while they await their test results.

  • Walmart at 9097 Commercial St. on Feb. 3 between 1 and 5 p.m. Anyone exposed to the virus at this location at the specified times may develop symptoms up to, and including, Feb. 17.

  • Burger King at 9148 Commercial St. on Feb. 10 between 12 and 1 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms up to, and including, Feb. 24.

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

  • Walmart at 9097 Commercial St. on Feb. 10 between 1 and 2:30 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms up to, and including, Feb. 24.

  • MIDAS at 9154 Commercial St. on Feb. 10 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms up to, and including, Feb. 24.

A full list of active potential COVID-19 exposures is maintained here.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

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