Nova Scotia reports 581 new cases of COVID-19 and small hospital outbreak

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Because of delays in follow-ups, the province is asking all positive cases to contact their close contacts. (CBC - image credit)
Because of delays in follow-ups, the province is asking all positive cases to contact their close contacts. (CBC - image credit)

Nova Scotia reported 581 new cases of COVID-19 Monday and said there is a small outbreak in a Halifax hospital.

Of the new cases, 420 are in the central zone, 62 cases are in the eastern zone, 42 cases are in the northern zone and 57 cases are in the western zone.

The province said a handful of patients at the Halifax Infirmary have tested positive for COVID-19 as a result of an outbreak on a ward. The province said "less than five" people are affected. All patients are being monitored.

As of Friday, 15 people were in hospital due to the virus, including four in intensive care. Monday's update didn't provide an update on that number.

Provincial labs completed 4,851 tests on Sunday.

Public Health has asked people who test positive to do their own contact tracing, as it's too busy keeping up with tracing for long-term care, healthcare facilities, correctional facilities, shelters and other group settings.

Eskasoni COVID-19 update

Chief Leroy Denny gave an update via social media Monday afternoon on an outbreak at Eskasoni First Nation.

Speaking in a video, Denny said there were five new cases of COVID-19 in the community, 24 active cases and seven recoveries.

Denny also said he had been told by Public Health that a COVID-19 precaution notification issued for Eskasoni Foodland for Dec. 23 had been sent in error as it did not meet the risk threshold.

Encouraging community members to get vaccinated, follow Public Health guidelines and get tested, Denny said people should behave as if transmission is all around.

"This is really, really important and we need to really think about our elders and and all those who are immunocompromised and children who cannot get vaccinated," he said. "We need to really do this for them, for our community."

Other First Nations have also reported positive cases in their communities.

Millbrook First Nation announced on Dec. 23 that it had its first cases of COVID-19.

It said there were six confirmed cases and four people who had tested positive with rapid tests.

A social media post on Monday said that Public Health had not provided an update on positive cases.

Meanwhile, on Dec. 25, Pictou Landing First Nation announced that it had 10 confirmed cases and 12 positive rapid tests.

Earlier in December, Paqtnkek First Nation near Antigonish was largely shut down as a precautionary measure after three band members tested positive.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

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