Today, December 12, Nova Scotia is reporting 111 new cases of COVID-19.
There are 63 cases in Central Zone, 42 cases in Eastern Zone, 5 cases in Northern Zone, and 1 case in Western Zone.
Because of the outbreak at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, the number of positive cases being released today are lab results, not Panorama results. This continues to better reflects the situation on the ground.
Public health notes that some cases associated with this outbreak are being counted in Central Zone because of the address on the student’s health card. That is why not all of these cases are reflected in the Eastern Zone numbers.
Those infected in the outbreak are experiencing relatively mild symptoms and the cases are mostly young people who are fully vaccinated.
Because of the spike in testing and positive cases, public health is experiencing some delays in follow up. People whose lab test is positive will continue to have receive an initial contact from public health within 24 hours and they will be provided information on required isolation and testing plus asked to contact their close contacts. Detailed follow-ups are being prioritized and may be delayed. Public health will continue to support contact tracing in schools, long-term care, correctional facilities, shelters and other settings.
Due to this outbreak, all close contacts, including those who are fully vaccinated, now need to isolate until they have a negative result from a lab-based (PCR) test. The lab test should be performed at least 72 hours after the exposure. Public health strongly recommends regular rapid testing for all Nova Scotians.
It is important that people who test positive with a rapid test self-isolate and get a lab test regardless of vaccination status. If that confirmatory test is negative, they may stop isolating if they have no symptoms. If they have symptoms and the PCR test is negative, they should repeat the test. Testing has been increased in the Antigonish area, including extended hours at the testing centre and mobile units have been deployed. Testing locations in Antigonish this weekend can be found at https://www.nshealth.ca/news/public-health-mobile-unit-providing-covid-19-testing-st-fx-university-weekend .
The number of tests completed by the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs is not yet available for December 11.
Symptoms and self-assessment:
Regardless of your vaccination status, anyone with symptoms should immediately self-isolate and visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to do a self-assessment and book a COVID-19 test if in the past 48 hours they have had or are currently experiencing:
— cough (new or worsening)
Or two or more of the following symptoms:
— fever (chills, sweats)
— runny nose or nasal congestion
— sore throat
— shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
People should call 811 if they cannot access the online self-assessment or wish to speak with a nurse about their symptoms.
Testing advice for people without symptoms:
People who do not have symptoms and should get tested are listed at https://www.nshealth.ca/visit-covid-19-testing-site. People who do not meet this criteria can get a rapid test at a pop-up site or a mobile unit. Locations are listed at https://www.nshealth.ca/coronavirus/covid-19-rapid-testing .
People who were advised by public health that they were a close contact may need to self-isolate. Information about self-isolation requirements for different situations is at https://www.nshealth.ca/what-do-i-need-know-about-covid-19-self-isolation .
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
More information on COVID-19 case data, testing and vaccines is available at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data/
More information about public health text notifications of positive COVID-19 cases and close contacts is available here: https://www.nshealth.ca/news/public-health-begins-contacting-positive-covid-19-cases-close-contacts-text-message
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus or 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)