Nova Scotia reports 3 new COVID-19 cases, 2 connected to Dartmouth schools

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Nova Scotia is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, two related to Dartmouth schools.

One case is at Prince Andrew High School and the other is at Eric Graves Memorial Junior High School, according to a news release from the Department of Health and Wellness.

The school communities have been notified, despite the schools being closed for the holiday break.

An emailed statement from the province said public health determined that the potential exposure period includes Dec. 17 and 18, when school was open.

The province closed all schools on Dec. 18, a few days early ahead of the break, which was also extended until Jan. 11 for students.

The release said the schools will be cleaned before staff return on Jan. 4.

The third case was also discovered in the central health zone. All three cases are related to previously identified cases, but contact tracing continues.

Everyone who is a close contact will be notified, tested and asked to isolate.

There are now 25 known active cases in the province. One person is still in hospital.

"It is encouraging to see case numbers staying low, and I am proud of the effort Nova Scotians are making to follow public health protocols and keep each other safe," Premier Stephen McNeil said in the release.

Paul Poirier/CBC
Paul Poirier/CBC

"We need to continue to be vigilant over the next number of months. I know we can contain the virus as long as we stay committed to one another and follow the protocols."

Nova Scotia Health Authority's labs completed 1,592 tests on Tuesday.

New potential exposures

Nova Scotia public health is warning of several new potential exposure sites in the central zone.

Out of an abundance of caution, it is asking anyone who worked at or visited the following locations on the specified dates and times to immediately complete the online COVID-19 self-assessment tool or call 811 to book an appointment to get tested, regardless of whether they have symptoms:

  • Pete's Frootique Sunnyside Mall (1595 Bedford Hwy., Bedford) on Dec. 23 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

  • Walmart Bedford Commons in the photo kiosk area (141 Damascus Rd., Bedford) on Dec. 23 between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

Individuals at these two locations are asked to self-isolate while they wait for test results, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms.

Anyone who worked at or visited the following locations on the specified dates and times is also asked to immediately complete the online self-assessment tool or call 811 to book an appointment to get tested, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Walmart Bedford Commons, the rest of the store (141 Damascus Rd., Bedford) on Dec. 23 between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

  • Michael's Bedford Commons (161 Damascus Rd., Bedford) on Dec. 23 between 1:30 and 3 p.m.

  • Sobey's Tacoma Drive (60 Tacoma Dr., Dartmouth) on Dec. 23 between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.

However, individuals who were at these locations and do not have symptoms of COVID-19, are not required to self-isolate while waiting for test results.

Anyone exposed to the coronavirus on the date mentioned may develop symptoms up to, and including, Jan. 6.

A list of active potential COVID-19 sites can be found here.

Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, reminded Nova Scotians to follow COVID-19 protocols heading into the new year.

"The rest of the holiday season is critical for us and we need Nova Scotians to continue their vigilance with New Year's celebrations," Strang said in the release.

"Keep your gatherings small with no more than 10 people total. Stick with your family or your regular close social group of 10 as you say goodbye to 2020 and welcome in the new year."

Cases in the Atlantic provinces

The latest numbers from the Atlantic provinces are:

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