Nova Scotia reported five new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday — all related to travel outside the region.
Three of the new cases are in the central health zone and two are in the eastern health zone. All of the newly identified cases are self-isolating.
The province also reported the case of one person infected with the variant first reported in the U.K. The case is not included in Thursday's total, because although the person is a resident of Nova Scotia they are living and working outside the province. The new case has no known close contacts in Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia has identified 23 cases of the variant first reported in the U.K., and 10 cases involving the variant first reported in South Africa.
The province now has 40 known active cases of COVID-19. One person is in hospital as a result of the virus.
In a news release, Premier Iain Rankin encouraged Nova Scotians to continue following public health protocols.
"Day after day we are seeing the results of the hard work of Nova Scotians to keep the COVID-19 case numbers low," he said.
Provincial health authority labs completed 2,020 COVID-19 tests on Wednesday.
Thursday evening, Nova Scotia Health issued a list of three new potential exposure sites in the central health zone and one new exposure site in the western health zone.
Anyone who worked at or visited the following locations on the specified dates and times should book a COVID-19 test on the self-assessment website or by contacting 811, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms:
Spring Garden Place Mall food court, 5640 Spring Garden Rd., on April 6 between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 20. Anyone at this location at this time will need to self-isolate while they await test results, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms.
Walmart Mumford Road at 6990 Mumford Rd., Halifax, on April 6 between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 20. Anyone at this location at this time does not need to self-isolate while awaiting their test results, unless they have symptoms.
Dollarama, Young Kempt Centre at 6061 Young St., Halifax, on April 6 between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 20. Anyone at this location at this time does not need to self-isolate while awaiting their test results, unless they have symptoms.
Irving Big Stop at 5477 Prospect Rd., New Minas, on April 7 between 12:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. Anyone exposed may develop symptoms through April 21. Anyone at this location at this time does not need to self-isolate while awaiting their test results, unless they have symptoms.
Some restrictions loosened
People coming from Newfoundland and Labrador can now enter Nova Scotia without having to self-isolate. The change, which came into effect earlier this week, means all Atlantic Canadians will now be able to enter Nova Scotia without the need to quarantine for 14 days.
However, travel restrictions for entering New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador are still in place.
Some provincial restrictions were also lifted Wednesday. Malls, retail businesses and fitness facilities in Nova Scotia can now operate at 100 per cent capacity, with physical distancing.
Sports practices, training and games, along with arts and culture rehearsals and performances can now have 75 people. Rankin said while physical distancing and masks are not required for these activities, they are recommended when possible.
Spectators can continue to attend these events except when they're held at schools, Rankin said.
As of Thursday, 129,809 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 30,400 second doses.
Atlantic Canada case numbers
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