Nova Scotia reports 6 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday

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Nova Scotia announced six new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 50.

That is the lowest number of active cases since Nov. 22.

Three of the cases were in the central health zone. One is related to travel outside the Atlantic region and another is a close contact of a previously reported case. One case is under investigation.

There were two cases in the western zone, both related to travel outside the region.

One case was in the northern zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case.

Nova Scotia Health Authority labs conducted 2,405 tests on Wednesday.

Premier Stephen McNeil said that improving case numbers should not cause people to let down their guard.

"COVID-19 is still here and still moving into different areas of our province," he said in a news release. "That is why we must be careful about our own movement and our social contacts. I ask all Nova Scotians to keep following all the public health protocols to keep each other safe."

Nova Scotia government
Nova Scotia government

Immunization has started

The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived in the province on Tuesday.

An immunization clinic opened on Wednesday at Dalhousie University in Halifax, where the vaccines are being stored in ultra-low-temperature freezers. On that first day, 376 people were immunized.

Danielle Sheaves, a registered nurse, was the first person in the province to receive the vaccine.

The vaccine is given in two doses, with the second dose administered 21 days after the first. Data from clinical trials indicate that full protection is in place 28 days after the first shot.

Nova Scotia will continue to receive small weekly shipments of the vaccine until the end of March, when the supply is expected to increase.

The first phase of immunization will be limited to health-care workers, residents in long-term care homes and older Nova Scotians.

Schools prepared for anything

As a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 in the coming weeks, the holiday break for public school students was extended. While the return date is currently Jan. 11, Education Minister Zach Churchill has said that will be re-evaluated as it draws closer.

"We can make operational decisions, but we do lean heavily on Public Health to help us do that," he told reporters.

Churchill said his department has instructed all regional centres for education to make sure students have the resources they need in the event at-home learning becomes necessary

"Some schools are doing that before the holidays, others will be doing that the first week back during the [professional development] week for teachers and administrators."

New possible exposure

The health authority issued a potential exposure notice Wednesday for a restaurant in Stellarton.

It is advising anyone who was at Andre's Pizza at 243 S. Foord St. on Dec. 10 between 2:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., or on Dec. 11 between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to self-monitor for symptoms. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Dec. 25.

A test can be booked on the COVID-19 self-assessment website. Individuals who book a test after being at a possible exposure site are required to self-isolate before their test and while awaiting results.

A full list of potential exposure locations can be found here.

Cases in the Atlantic provinces

The latest numbers from the Atlantic provinces are: