Today, December 15, Nova Scotia is reporting 178 new cases of COVID-19.
There are 113 cases in Central Zone, 55 cases in Eastern Zone, five cases in Northern Zone and five cases in Western Zone.
Due to delays with data entry into Panorama (public health’s case management system), the number of positive cases being released today are lab results, not Panorama results. This continues to better reflect the situation on the ground.
Because of a spike in testing and positive cases, public health is experiencing some delays in follow-up. Public health will try to contact anyone confirmed positive by the lab within 24 hours to provide information on required isolation and testing. All cases will be asked to contact their close contacts. This may be the only contact a positive case has with public health. Detailed follow-ups are being prioritized to support contact tracing in schools, long-term care, healthcare facilities, correctional facilities, shelters and other group settings.
All close contacts, including those who are fully vaccinated, now need to isolate for 72 hours after the exposure and then get a lab-based (PCR) test. Those who are fully vaccinated can stop isolating after receiving a negative lab test. Those not fully vaccinated must continue to isolate, following the instructions for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated, found at https://www.nshealth.ca/information-covid-19-close-contacts
It is important that anyone who tests positive with a rapid test self-isolates immediately and gets a PCR test, regardless of vaccination status. If the PCR test is negative, they can stop isolating if they have no symptoms and are fully vaccinated.
There are no new cases reported today at Parkland Antigonish, a seniors’ living community. Two residents and two staff members from the retirement home have tested positive and one staff member from Mary’s Court, the licensed long-term care neighbourhood, has tested positive. No one is in hospital.
All staff and residents are fully vaccinated, and all residents of Mary’s Court have had a booster shot. Public health is working with the facility to prevent further spread. Increased public health measures and restrictions are in place.
On December 14, 14 schools were notified of an exposure(s) at their school. As always, all staff, parents and guardians are notified of exposures if a positive case (student, teacher or staff) was at the school while infectious. A list of schools with exposures is available online: https://backtoschool.ednet.ns.ca/school-exposures
On December 14, Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 6,940 tests.
Six people are in hospital, including two in ICU. There are no hospitalizations in Eastern Zone.
As of December 14, 1,698,007 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 791,379 Nova Scotians have received their second dose, and 58,047 eligible Nova Scotians have received a third dose.
Symptoms and self-assessment:
Regardless of vaccination status, anyone with symptoms should immediately self-isolate and visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to do a self-assessment. They should also 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 but should get tested are listed at: https://www.nshealth.ca/visit-covid-19-testing-site . People who do not meet any of the criteria for asymptomatic testing can get a rapid test at a pop-up site or a mobile unit. Rapid test 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 of a positive case or if they were at a site listed in a COVID-19 exposure notification should isolate immediately and monitor for symptoms, even if fully vaccinated. They should also book a PCR test for 72 hours after the exposure.
If the test result is negative, people can stop isolating if fully vaccinated. If it is positive, they should continue isolating and follow the public health direction that’s online.
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