Province reports 4 new cases of COVID-19 as tighter restrictions come into force

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Nova Scotia announced four new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. The province has 39 known active cases. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
Nova Scotia announced four new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. The province has 39 known active cases. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

Nova Scotia reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday as tighter restrictions came into force to stem a recent increase in case numbers.

Three of the new cases are in the central health zone and are close contacts of a previously reported case.

One new case is in the eastern health zone and is related to travel outside the region.

All the new cases are self-isolating.

The province now has 39 active cases. Two people are hospitalized and in ICU related to the virus.

The province administered 32,019 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Friday including 12,105 second doses.

Halifax testing site

Nova Scotia Health is holding pop-up testing at the Halifax Convention Centre.

Testing will be available from 3:30-9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Nova Scotia completed 3,230 COVID-19 tests on Friday.

Avoid non-essential travel

In a news release Saturday, Premier Iain Rankin warned against complacency because of Saturday's low number of new cases. Nova Scotia announced 18 new cases over the previous two days.

"While today's case count is lower than the last two days, I am still greatly concerned about the trend we have been seeing in recent case numbers in Halifax," he said.

On Friday, Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, the chief medical officer of health, asked Nova Scotians to avoid non-essential travel within the province and elsewhere, especially to and from restricted areas of the Halifax Regional Municipality, Hants County and Lunenburg County.

The following restrictions came into effect 8 a.m. Saturday for the Halifax Regional Municipality, up to and including Porters Lake, as well as Enfield, Elmsdale, Mount Uniacke and Hubbards:

  • Residents in long-term care homes may only have visits from designated caregivers or volunteers, and can only leave for medical appointments or for a drive.

  • Restaurants and bars must stop serving food and drink by 9 p.m. and must close by 10 p.m.

  • Sports games and events, as well as arts and culture events and festivals will no longer be permitted, but sports practices and arts and culture rehearsals can continue with a limit of 25 people participating.

  • Faith gatherings can have 150 people outdoors, or 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 100 people indoors.

  • Weddings and funerals are permitted to have 10 people but no receptions are permitted.

  • Business and organized club meetings and training may have 25 people with physical distancing, except where emergency responders need to be closer for training.

  • There can be no more than 25 people involved in a virtual performance, including performers and people managing the live stream.

The restrictions will be in place until at least March 26.

Current restrictions across the province will remain in place including restricting gatherings in homes to 10 and reduced retail, mall and fitness facility capacities.

The province also announced new testing requirements starting Monday for domestic rotational workers and specialized workers, as well as for parents and children whose child custody arrangements see them travelling outside of Nova Scotia or P.E.I.

Halifax Regional Police employee tests positive

On Saturday Halifax Regional Police confirmed that one of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19.

In an email, the watch commander said they were working closely with Public Health to follow the required protocols and that there would be no impact on service.

The email did not address a question from CBC News asking how many officers would be required to self-isolate as a result of the positive case.

Irving Shipbuilding case

Irving suspended operations Friday at its shipyard on the Halifax waterfront after one case of COVID-19 was confirmed the day before.

In a news release, Irving said it planned to test employees Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Irving said the focus this weekend would be on priority roles, production and production support.

In a Tweet on Friday night, the company said production at the Halifax Shipyard would be suspended for testing until the second shift on Sunday. It said a decision on the third shift would be announced by 8 p.m. Sunday.

The company said 1,600 people work at the Halifax Shipyard each day.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

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