This week’s COVID-19 epidemiologic summary shows a continued decrease in lab-confirmed cases in Nova Scotia since the peak of the sixth wave in early April. The data points to a stabilization in new long-term care cases and severe outcomes, although the number of hospitalizations and deaths remains high compared to previous waves.
“It is encouraging to see the number of new PCR-confirmed infections decline again this week and to see the peak of the sixth wave behind us,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia. “That said, our numbers are still high. COVID-19 is still with us, along with a number of other respiratory viruses, including influenza. This makes it more important than ever to use the tools we’ve learned together these last two years – wear your mask, keep your distance, wash your hands and, most importantly, stay home when you’re sick, COVID-19 or otherwise.”
The rollout of second booster doses began in April for adults 70 and older and residents of long-term and residential care facilities, as recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. To date, more than 29,000 people have received a second booster dose.
Seniors 70 years and older living in the community can book online or by phone to get their vaccine at their local pharmacy. Members of First Nations communities 55 and older can now access a second booster dose through community clinics, and long-term and residential care facilities have started to provide vaccines to all residents. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are recommended for use as boosters. People who cannot receive mRNA vaccine for medical reasons can book Novavax as a booster.
The weekly COVID-19 epidemiologic summary is prepared for the Chief Medical Officer of Health and his team to inform the province’s response to the pandemic. It tracks weekly trends and is focused on monitoring for severe outcomes in key populations.
For the seven-day period ending May 2, there were:
— 3,415 new PCR-confirmed cases
— 77 new hospitalizations due to COVID-19
— 22 COVID-19 deaths reported in Panorama, public health’s disease information system.
Since the start of the fifth wave (December 8, 2021):
— the median age of PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19 is 42
— the median age of hospitalizations is 71
— the median age of reported deaths is 81
— the risk of hospitalization is 10 times higher for those aged 70 years and older compared to those age 18 to 49 and the risk of death is 95 times higher for those aged 70 years and older compared to those younger than 50.
As of May 5, 65 per cent of Nova Scotians 18 and older have received at least one booster dose.
The report is posted on the government’s coronavirus website at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/alerts-notices/#epidemiologic-summaries
The public dashboard will continue to be updated weekly until the end of May.
COVID-19 dashboard: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/204d6ed723244dfbb763ca3f913c5cad
Book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment: https://novascotia.flow.canimmunize.ca/en/9874123-19-7418965
For information on testing, including where to get a rapid testing kit: https://www.nshealth.ca/coronavirustesting